Announced labor strike at UC campuses on Wednesday and Thursday

To: UCSC Community

From: Steve Stein, Associate Vice Chancellor, Staff Human Resources, and Grace McClintock, Assistant Vice Provost, Academic Personnel

UC-AFT, the union that represents lecturers, has announced that it will be holding a systemwide labor strike at the nine undergraduate-serving UC campuses this Wednesday and Thursday, November 17 and 18. Picketing is expected at the main entrance and west entrance of UC Santa Cruz beginning around 10 a.m.

Up-to-date information will be published on the UC Santa Cruz website at For questions, staff employees may call their Employee & Labor Relations Analyst in Staff HR or email: Academic employees may email with questions and concerns.

An all-campus email about the strike will be sent out today to inform our campus community.

This is a systemwide contract, and the University of California Office of the President has been bargaining with UC-AFT leadership to establish a successor contract. The latest proposal—which reflects genuine responsiveness to union concerns related to compensation, employment stability, and workload—shows the University of California to be bargaining in good faith and working hard to address the most important issues raised during negotiations.

We respect all unions’ right to organize, strike and engage in lawful free speech activities. While organizing and strike activities can create disruptions, we are hopeful that certain actions, such as blocking campus entrances are not pursued.

Preventing vehicles or individuals from entering or leaving campus imposes burdens on those who already must overcome obstacles in their day. Students, staff, and faculty with mobility challenges face additional difficulty getting to the academic core because buses are unable to cross onto campus. Parents face uncertainty or delays taking their children to school or child care. Students, staff, faculty and their families living on campus experience stress about getting to off-campus jobs or appointments on time.

We must all remain informed and adaptable during this strike and through other campus disruptions. We offer the following guidance to help you and your employees plan in advance:

  • Accessibility: Employees are expected to work their normal schedules on Wednesday and Thursday. Please instruct your employees to check campus accessibility before they come to campus if they are scheduled to work on campus. Employees who work on campus and can safely come to campus should do so in accordance with information that will be provided on the campus’ website. Information will be posted on a special web site,, and will also be recorded on the campus communication hotline (831-459-INFO). If access to the campus is not possible, UCSC will issue a Cruz Alert text message and phone call.
  • Work Flexibility: To minimize the number of people attempting to access the campus, employee requests to work from home or for an alternate work site should be considered and approved based on operational needs. We encourage you to be as flexible as possible when considering these requests from your employees.
  • Request for Vacation or Compensatory Time Off (CTO): Managers and supervisors may approve advance requests to schedule vacation or CTO (overtime leave) in accordance with policy and labor agreements and as it is customarily administered within your unit/division.
  • Request for Sick Leave: You may require that employees provide reasonable documentation to support their request for sick leave if the requested day off is concurrent with the strike day. Managers and supervisors should notify employees within a reasonable period of time before the strike that medical documentation will be required.
  • Request for Union Business Leave: Please forward the employee's request to the Employee & Labor Relations' Administrative Specialist, Jennifer May, at 459-1873 or
  • Absence without Approval: If the campus is accessible and an employee who is scheduled to work on campus is absent without advance approval to use vacation or compensatory time off and has not called in sick, then the day should be recorded as an unapproved absence and the employee's pay will be adjusted in accordance with policy and labor agreements.
  • Recording Attendance: Employee attendance will be reported as normal through CruzPay and other time reporting practices. In order to assess the impact of the strike, we may ask supervisors or units to provide additional information on absences for a report to the Office of the President.
  • Absence due to Inaccessibility: If the campus is officially determined to be inaccessible, the Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor may approve administrative leave with pay for those employees who were expected to work on campus but are unable to access the workplace. Employees should not be encouraged to enter the campus to work if it is deemed inaccessible.
  • Health and Safety: Please ensure that your employees know that their safety is always the first priority. Employees should not be expected to jeopardize their safety in attempting to get to work if access to the campus is blocked. Please emphasize to your employees that they should follow the directions regarding campus access that will be communicated through the channels noted above.
  • Instruction: Faculty and teaching assistants are expected to hold all exams, classes, discussion sections/ labs, and office hours as scheduled. Rescheduling or relocation must follow established department and college practice and accommodate the needs of the instructor and all students in the class, keeping in mind that students may experience difficulty finding transportation onto or off campus. College provosts and department chairs are responsible for ensuring effective delivery of their academic programs. If the campus is officially determined to be inaccessible, additional information will be provided to the campus community.

Instructional staff and course sponsors should review and consider the information and strategies provided at

Information about business continuity planning is available on the Office of Emergency Operations website.

Strike related questions should be referred to your Employee & Labor Relations Analyst at

Best Practices and FAQs for Managers and Supervisors During Labor Strikes and Status Quo

We will provide communication updates as additional information becomes available. Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation.