Questions and Answers Regarding UC/AFSCME Negotiations
and the AFSCME PCT strike vote
Important questions and answers for UC employees regarding UC/AFSCME negotiations and the patient care technical strike votes scheduled from May 17-22, 2008. AFSCME, the union representing UC’s patient care technical employees, has announced a
series of strike votes, scheduled from May 17-22, 2008. It is critical that all employees,
including patient care technical employees, understand the implications of such an action so they can make an informed choice about whether to consider voting for or participating in this strike. Below are answers to some important questions.
Q. What is the UC currently offering in terms of pay increases?
A. UC’s is offering significant market-based salary increases that will help recruit and retain
qualified patient care technical employees to all UC medical facilities. UC proposed
salary increases between 4-15% and movement to a step based pay structure, which
would bring the salaries of patient care employees to market competitive levels. More
information about location-specific wage increases will be available at
Q. What will UC do if patient care technical employees strike?
A. If any employee does not report to work as assigned, the University will presume -
absent medical certification - that her/his absence from work during a declared strike
period is strike related.
Authorization for an absence from work (e.g., vacation leave) may or may not be granted,
depending on operational necessity and without regard to the employee’s reason for the
Employees who are absent from work without authorization during a strike will not be
paid for the absence and may face the possibility of disciplinary action for cause
depending on the facts and circumstances (e.g., applicable contract language,
misconduct, prior notice(s), prior disciplinary history).
Q. If a strike is called, does that mean I will not be able to come to work? A. No. Under the labor laws, you are free to make up your own minds about crossing a
picket line and continuing to work.
Q. If I'm a dues-paying member of the union, am I obligated to participate in the strike?
Can I be penalized for not striking?
A. No employee is ever under any obligation to strike. Unions are legally prohibited from
threatening or coercing members in other ways to keep them from coming to work.
However, some unions have the right to levy fines against members, but not non-
members, who choose to work during a strike, including a sympathy strike. A union
member who does not wish to strike needs to contact her/his local union representative
regarding possible penalties for not striking. The University will not deduct union fines
from employees’ paychecks.
Q. What should I do if I want to work but I am being blocked from doing so or I'm
confronted by picketers or striking workers?
A. Pickets are lawful so long as they are peaceful, conducted only on public property (i.e.,
sidewalks), do not block access to the facility, do not interfere with the normal course of
business, and do not prohibit non-striking employees from working.
The University will assist employees who want to work by providing security or
transportation across the picket lines.
In addition, non-striking employees should avoid confrontations and need not respond to
any comments that picketers may direct at them. Non-striking employees should not
invite or engage in any exchanges, which might inflame the situation.
If an employee feels s/he is being harassed or prevented from working by picketers or
striking employees, the employee should notify their supervisor or campus Labor
Q. If I come to work, what pay and benefits will I receive?
A. If you come to work, you will receive the same compensation and benefits as you did
before the work stoppage.
Q. If I don't come to work as a result of an AFSMCE strike, will I continue to receive
my pay and benefits, and may I use compensatory time or vacation for the time
that I miss?
A. Employees will not be paid for time lost due to participating in a strike. Employees who
participate in a strike will not be allowed to use compensatory time or vacation leave to
make up for the pay they lose because of striking. Benefits that are affected by the
percentage of time worked during the month may be affected.
Q. Am I permitted to talk to my supervisor or unit manager about any of this? A. Absolutely. Your manager is another resource for answers and information.