The California Public Employment Relations Board, or PERB, issued a formal complaint on behalf of the UC’s largest employee union against the UC Board of Regents for allegedly violating state laws that protect workers’ access to their union.
The complaint alleges that the UC withheld employee contact information from unions and distributed mass communications to employees without consulting union members, according to a press release from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, Local 3299.
The UC provided the union with multiple reports regarding employees in the union’s bargaining teams, according to the complaint. The reports allegedly did not include personal contact information of all bargaining unit members and violated California Government Code Section 3571, which outlines higher education employer-employee relations.
The UC also disseminated information about the Janus v. AFSCME United States Supreme Court decision released June 27, which states that nonunion workers cannot be forced to pay fees to public sector unions, such as AFSCME. According to the complaint, the UC did so without providing the union the opportunity to discuss the content or supplement the content with its own communication.
UC Office of the President spokesperson Danielle Smith said in an email that the UC “disputes the union allegations” and will address them “in the proper forum.”
“By depriving unions the ability to communicate with represented workers, and surreptitiously trying to interfere with employees’ decisions to join or support unions, the University of California has effectively aligned itself with the Trump Administration and dark money groups who are financing a frontal assault on the rights of public sector workers,” said AFSCME Local 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger in the press release.
The PERB is set to hold an administrative hearing on the union’s charges “in the coming months,” and will provide a decision shortly after, according to the press release.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.