Service-worker strike canceled following tentative contract agreement

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After more than a year of bargaining, the University of California and the union representing the largest number of UC workers reached a tentative agreement on a four-year contract for the system’s about 8,300 service workers,  the union said Thursday — cancelling the union’s five-day strike that had been planned for next week.

Although the service workers represented by the union, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299, have reached an agreement with the university, the patient-care workers also represented by the union have yet to secure a tentative contract and remain in bargaining with the university, according to a union press release. The service workers and the university tentatively compromised on 13.5 percent across-the-board wage increases over the contract’s four-year term, new staffing protections and limits on the university contracting out work — previous sticking points in the bargaining process.

Last Thursday, the service workers announced that they intended to strike across the UC system from March 3 to 7, and the patient-care workers had announced that they would strike in sympathy. Both units had voted with 96 percent approval to authorize their bargaining teams to call a strike.

Service workers include custodians, groundskeepers and food-service staff across the UC campuses, medical centers and laboratories. Patient-care workers include surgical and X-ray technicians at the medical centers.

The patient-care workers have more bargaining sessions scheduled for later this week, according to the press release.

Megan Messerly is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @meganmesserly.