A University of California patient care worker union voted to authorize a strike.
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 patient care technical workers voted with 96 percent support to authorize the strike, according to an AFSCME news release.
AFSCME is the UC’s largest employee union, and represents more than 25,000 patient care technicians and service workers.
University officials announced earlier this month new employment terms which would increase retirement age by five years and raise healthcare premiums by as much as 61 percent, according to the release.
Service workers voted to join the patient care workers in solidarity if they opt to strike, according to the press release.
The union held a three-day strike in May, claiming the UC perpetuates racial and gender-based discrimination in its hiring and wage practices.
Claire Doan, a UC spokesperson, said AFSCME is using the threat of strike as a costly scare tactic in negotiations.
“For the second time in five months, AFSCME leaders are putting their agenda above the needs of patients, students, employees and the public by calling for yet another strike,” Doan said. “Union leaders refuse to allow their own members to vote on UC’s competitive contract offer, instead spending months threatening and now conducting a strike vote.”
John de los Angeles, a spokesperson for AFSCME 3299, said UC has refused to address outsourcing.
“The University has continued to refuse to address our top concern: outsourcing,” de los Angeles said. “They’ll tell you (these negotiations are) about wages, but what good are any of these things if the jobs are outsourced tomorrow?”
The union will issue the UC a 10-day notice if the workers ultimately decide to schedule a strike.