Information and resources about this week’s strike

To: UC Santa Cruz Staff

From: Steve Stein, Associate Vice Chancellor, Staff Human Resources

As you are aware, we are anticipating a labor strike this week by AFSCME service workers. In advance of this scheduled strike activity, I write to share some information and resources that you may find helpful.

The university is committed to ensuring that all people may exercise the constitutionally protected rights of free expression, speech, and assembly. The ongoing opportunity for the expression of a variety of viewpoints is at the core of this commitment. The right of free speech in a university includes the right to acts of peaceful dissent, protests in peaceable assembly, and orderly demonstrations which include picketing.

It is equally important to know that these rights are subject to restrictions based on time, place, and manner rules. For example, UC policy does not allow free expression to disrupt the regular and essential operations of the university, to significantly infringe on the rights of others, or to block or impede ingress to or egress from the campus or buildings. When free expression disrupts our ability to offer classes, carry on research, or run the university in general—or when it violates university policy or the law in any way—then it may be subject to disciplinary consequences.

Additionally, please remember that no employee is ever obligated to strike. Unions are legally prohibited from threatening or coercing members in other ways to keep them from coming to work. Staff members should remain in contact with their supervisors and managers to discuss their schedules and work locations.
If you feel you are being threatened, harassed, intimidated about crossing the picket line, or are prevented from working by picketers or striking employees, please immediately notify your supervisor or your campus employee and labor relations office. In cases of emergency, please dial 9-1-1.
Finally, the university has learned that some unions have threatened to fine union members who do not participate in the strike. Some unions have the right to fine members, but not non-members, who choose to work during a strike, including a sympathy strike. If you don’t want to strike, you may want to contact your local union representative to confirm there will not be fines. Even if the union does levy fines, UC will not deduct union fines from employees’ paychecks.

Though we do not know how these strike activities will impact the operation of our campus, we are working to do everything we can to ensure continued operations.

It is anticipated that dining halls may not have adequate staffing to serve prepared food during this time. We also anticipate that all cafes and restaurants operated by UCSC Dining may be closed.

Additionally, it’s possible that Student Health Services may be closed during the strike. The health center has recommended that students proactively take care of any immediate health care needs. However, please know that the campus has taken measures to give students access to counseling services even if Student Health Services is closed. More information is online.

Real-time updates about the strike and campus operations will be posted at beginning early Monday, May 7.

Thank you for your patience during this time.