University of California Clerical Workers to Stage One-Day Walkout

Thousands of clerical and support staff throughout the University of California system will stage a one-day walkout Tuesday in sympathy with striking workers at UCLA, according to union officials.

In a move decried as unlawful by UC officials, the 12,000 workers represented by Teamsters Local 2010 will walk off the job at all 10 UC campuses and five medical centers Tuesday.

Additionally, the union has scheduled several picket lines at UC campuses and facilities around the state, including UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz and the UC Office of the President in Oakland, according to union officials.

Since Friday, the workers at UCLA have been on strike and they are expected to return to work Wednesday. They include electricians, elevator mechanics, plumbers and facilities workers.

"The strike is over the university's numerous violations of state law and unfair labor practices, including the failure to bargain in good faith, unlawful delays in bargaining and threatening retaliation against workers for engaging in union activities," Teamsters officials said in a statement.

UC officials claim the strikes by both groups of workers are unlawful because the two sides are still in contract talks.

In addition to an average pay hike of 18 percent over the next six years, UC has offered Teamsters Local 2010 clerical workers "excellent health care benefits and retirement options," including a pension plan and an additional $1,200 ratification bonus paid out over the life of the contract, UC officials said in a statement.

"UC clerical employees earn an annual average salary of $47,300 -- more than the state average of roughly $39,200 for clerical workers," UC officials said in the statement. "These UC employees typically pay just $384 a year for health insurance for themselves and their children. By comparison, the average American worker typically pays over $5,200 for less generous health coverage."

Separate from the talks with the clerical workers, UCLA has been negotiating with 600 Teamsters-represented skilled trades workers on a new contract since Aug. 30.

The last offer to the UCLA workers includes "an immediate 12.5 percent pay increase, a 2.25 percent signing bonus and annual 3 percent salary increases in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020," according to UC officials.

This would bring their average salary to about $76,000, according to UC officials.

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