UC receives second complaint of unfair labor practices
By Ryan Leou
Feb. 19, 2016 5:49 p.m.
The California Public Employment Relations Board, or PERB, issued a second unfair labor practice complaint against the University of California last Friday.
The American Federation State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 union filed the complaint, which alleged the UC violated its collective bargaining agreement with AFSCME Local 3299 by extending or renewing contracts with individual contractors without properly notifying the union.
AFSCME Local 3299, the UC’s largest employee union, represents more than 22,000 patient care and services employees.
PERB issued another complaint in January, alleging the UC unlawfully retaliated against contracted workers at UC San Francisco who tried to collectively organize and seek direct employment with the UC after their employers cut their wages.
Todd Stenhouse, spokesperson for AFSCME Local 3299, said the bigger issue with the complaint was that UC had been working with subcontractors who faced legal scrutiny in the past over allegedly violating labor laws.
Stenhouse said the Department of Labor is conducting a federal investigation on UC contractor Performance First Building Services for wage theft and payroll fraud. He added the State Labor Commissioner’s Office has adjudicated 140 claims of wage theft against contractor ABM Services Inc.
AFSCME Local 3299 also launched a speakers’ boycott at UC Berkeley this semester, asking elected officials and public figures to postpone or cancel appearances at the university until the labor dispute has been resolved.
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, State Sen. Carol Liu and State Assembly member Kevin McCarty, among others, have refused speaking invitations, according to an AFSCME Local 3299 press release. The release added AFSCME Local 3299 has asked former President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea Clinton to cancel a scheduled appearance at UC Berkeley in April.
Stenhouse said he thinks the speakers’ boycott allows civil and elected leaders to show their support for the union. He added past boycotts have helped settle labor disputes.
UC officials were not immediately available for comment. The University and AFSCME Local 3299 will hold an informal conference in an attempt to settle the dispute in coming weeks.
Compiled by Ryan Leou, Bruin contributor.