AirTalk for September 19, 2013

Contentious labor relations at University of California system

University Of California Employees Protest Pending Cuts

David McNew/Getty Images

University of California employees represented by the Union Coalition demonstrated in front of UCLA early this year at Ronald Reagan Medical Center to call on University of California executives take a pay cut instead of reducing services to patients, cutting employee hours and increasing student tuition.

California’s employment relations board that deals with public employees is investigating complaints against University of California for threatening striking workers last May. UC says it takes the allegations very seriously and strongly disagrees with the union’s claims. AFSCME Local 3299 has been negotiating with the UC system for more than a year over a new contract. Union representatives say it’s likely to reach a final impasse.

The sticking points are much the same as other public employee contract disputes of late: pension obligations and executive compensation. However, the added complexity of tuition for the universities and patient considerations at UC hospitals make the stakes even higher.

Are negotiations happening in good faith? What will bring the parties together?

Guests:

Kathryn Lybarger, President, AFSCME Local 3299 (with over 22,000 members at the University of California); Senior Gardner, UC Berkeley

Dwaine Duckett, Vice President, Human Resources, UC System


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