AFSCME Plans Statewide Strike
After months of negotiations between the University of California and the UC service workers, the service workers, including UC Irvine’s service workers, plan on staging a statewide strike on April 14.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 is the union that represents the UC service workers at the main campus and at the UCI medical center.
After the UC workers’ contract expired on June 30, 2004, it was extended to Jan. 31 2005. The union has met with UC management over 24 times since September 2004.
On March 17, 92 percent of the service workers voted to stage the strike if the UC failed to meet the demands of the workers. The vote was followed by a fact-finding process, which was issued by Carol Vendrillo, a state-appointed arbitrator, on March 31. The service workers and the UC are now undergoing renegotiations.
If demands are not met, the strike will begin with picketing by the flagpoles in front of the administration building and proceed to Campus Drive.
In an interview with the Daily Pilot, Ramon Ontiveros, a custodian who has worked in the UC system for three years, explained why the service workers have been so persistent in these negotiations.
‘Since I’ve been here, I’ve never gotten any raise,’ Ontiveros said. ‘We want a better cost of living, respect and dignity and a chance to advance.’