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WHY THE UC PATIENT CARE AND SERVICE WORKER FIGHT IS A FIGHT FOR ALL

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The UC patient care and service worker fight is not only a fight for workers but also a fight for students, professors, faculty and Californian families. AFSCME 3299 service and patient care workers will participate in a one day Unfair Labor Practice Strike on November 20th.  UCSD ‘s  Strike Committee has also organized a student solidarity strike in response to tuition increases and the downfall of the quality in education. The strike is also a direct response to the current transportation crisis that threatens to increase transportation cost for both students and workers and also to voice UCSD’s student’s freedom of expression and discontent with the removal and policing of Graffiti Hall. On Thursday, January 31, 2013, the contract for thousands of janitors, cooks, gardeners and shuttle drivers on all UC campus’ and medical centers ended.  Currently at UCSD, there are hundreds of employed custodians who are fighting for fair retirement benefits, safe staffing standards, and sustainable living wages. The struggle for equal worker rights and dignified working conditions has been a long battle for our fellow workers at UCSD. Simultaneously, students have been struggling to end the UC’s increase of fees and tuition and to  also keep UC  affordable to all students.   The Unfair Labor Practice Strike on November 20th is a call for action for workers, students, professors, faculty and families to take back the UC system and demand access and affordability to education and economic mobility for all Californians.

How can you support?

Pledge to strike  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1VA5l_mQOWk-IFtCqUs8G2yr318IgMkXvuhQEiuZxrf0/viewform

Sign the petition https://docs.google.com/forms/d/13x3qt4oAI-DqE38lL7_u_N2xvZPsQjaAPULbk3eGlww/viewform

https://www.facebook.com/UCSDStrikeCommittee

#UCSDstrike #UConStrike

How does the UCSD service worker struggle affect the state of California?

The UC system employs more than 20,000 workers which represent custodians, food service workers, cooks, bus drivers, licensed vocational nurses, nursing assistants, medical assistants and techs.  

  • Of those 20,000 workers, service workers are the lowest paid employees of the UC system, 99% of whom are eligible for public assistance.
  • At the same time 700 of the UC’s highest paid employees, who make more than the president of the United States, just received a 3% pay increase.

A study released by the Center on Policy Initiatives and United Way of San Diego County, measured local costs of housing, child care, food and other basic expenses to determine a bare-bones budget for various-sized families.

  • A single person with no dependents needs a full-time job paying at least $13.13 an hour, or $27,733 a year, to meet basic expenses.
  •  UC service workers wages range from $ 10,600-$21,464, which falls short to even meet basic expenses for a single person.

Conclusion: The UC  system is limiting access to education for Californians, therefore, funneling more high school graduates into minimum wage jobs. The UC is also creating   poverty and increasing the gap between the rich and poor. If the UC system gave it’s workers a living wage it would not only provide a pathway out of poverty for many families struggling to meet ends meet but it would  overall create a more robust and stable consumer economy.

 Why should UCSD Students, professors, Faculty and Families strike on Nov. 20th?   

  • Since 2002, in- state tuition of at the UC has more than tripled.
  • Class sizes have increased, courses have been cut by as much as 11%
  • Counseling and library hours have been reduced
  • Under staffing is prevalent in many UCSD departments
  •  Students are forced to live in overcrowded rooms, up to 15 persons in one suite
  • Transportation negotiations could lead to increase cost in transportation
  • Removal of Graffiti Hall,  Removal of CLICS  library, what next?
  • The list goes on…

What UCSD service workers face:

 The average age of UCSD workers is 45 plus years and many are women of color, working two jobs to support their families.

  • UCSD has reduced workers’ lunch break from 1 hour to 30 minutes, and many workers are now unable to rest and are forced to eat their lunch cold as a result of the time constraint.
  • UC workers are forced to work longer hours without financial compensation
  • Workers are being threatened by more expensive and less efficient transportation.
  • 1.5% pay cut in their salaries  to pay for pensions
  • Reduced in health benefits
  • They work tirelessly, for hours with no time for breaks and under constant supervision.
  • Injuries on the job have increased due to understaffing
  • Break rooms are rare, many eat or take their breaks if they get a chance to in storage rooms/ laundry rooms filled with chemicals and cleaning supplies.
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The Struggle Continues….

 The Struggle Continues....

Jan 31st, Statewide Action

“on January 31 there will be a statewide action across all the UC campuses as the contract for thousands of janitors, cooks, and gardeners on all UC campuses expires at midnight! 22,000 AFSCME 3299 workers are fighting for fair retirement benefits and safe staffing standards in their current contract battle with the UC — students are standing with workers, faculty, and other unions to keep UC affordable and accessible for all of california!”

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A written account of one custodian’s injury

trabajadora 2012 This document was written by a female UCSD custodian.Below is her story translated in English.

I work in the housing department. My injuries are the result of the change of schedules in which we now have 3 days to clean dorms and two days to clean apartments. I started with  a pain in the middle of my hand. I didn’t give it any importance because I thought it was due to my daily work routine and that it would eventually go away but it did not go away. After two weeks I could not longer sleep. I went to the doctor and I was out sick for  6 weeks. I was going to therapy 3 times a week and visiting the doctor 2 times a week. One day that I had an appointment with the doctor for some X-rays on my injured hand I got a call from my supervisor telling me to go back to work the next day when I still had not received an ok from the doctor. I was forced to go back to work with pain and a glove that covered completely my hand and half of my arm. The doctor told me to use my good hand to work.

That is why I say it is unjust what they do to us.

This female worker was insinuating how she believes that management speaks to the doctors ( provided by the university’s insurance) before they see any worker and arranges their approval to send workers back to work regardless of their health conditions.

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Anonymous female worker speaks her truth

I spoke to a female custodian over the phone last Thursday night regarding her injuries and working conditions at UCSD. I have translated her story from Spanish to English in the best of my abiliities.

 I am 55 years old. I began working when I was 50 yrs old. I was really happy when I got this job. I thought wow! what a  good job.  I thought to myself , I want to work here until I retire but I never thought that this job that I loved would turn into a nightmare. Jeff Wadell changed everything. He does not believe our stories. He does not want to hear us. He does not care about our suffering.
I have received  two surgeries on  my right arm and one on my left arm. I am currently recovering from  my last surgery  performed the beginning of this month.  I have been working for 4 years. I feel I have been a good worker  and for them to tell me I am  lying . I felt terrible , depressed and betrayed.
Even after I  address how much pain I was  going through Jeff wadell refused to listen to me. The pain was so intense that I could no longer rotate my neck.I was diagnosed with  carpal tunnel and tendonitis due to the stress caused by the steam machines and the overload of work.
It all began with the steam machines.  I was among the first workers to start using  the steam machines. During my training process,  I realize I did not like them. At first I was very excited and thought wow! this is really interesting. Its something new. Then in September when they became mandatory  I noticed a change in my attitude. I was more irritable, full of stress and I had  a sharp pain in my right arm. I would come home mad and frustrated.
I address to Jeff Wadell that the steam machines were not being effective because they were not cleaning properly and it put a lot of stress on my body. He ignored my comments and stated that I did not know how to use it.   Instead he would make remarks such as “you are going to gain muscles and get in shaped”
I have always been a hard worker and have always done a quality service. I am a very committed person. I was in love with my work. I always received compliments from other workers about the cleanliness of my areas.   I loved leaving   a clean environment for the students. I put a lot of energy in my work and they did not care. All they (management) care about is their production and don’t care if the workers suffer.
I am not used to doing a half cleaning job. So when the management says  “don’t deep clean” I cannot do that. I take pride in my work and I am not willing to semi-clean.
I felt that Jeff Wadell was treating us like if we were in the navy, we were in constant rush, stress and full of injuries.
Jeff Wadell is inhuman, he had no sympathy for my pain, he just stood there and mocked me.
I  have felt humiliated and dehumanized. I used to love my work I took so much pride in  it but then Jeff came and changed everything. I could no longer keep up with the work and was no longer satisfied with how I was performing.
I have been physically and emotionally harm  working on this campus.
I have lost sleep, I can not sleep comfortably I have to sleep upright. Due to my recent operations. This past year has been a physical and emotional struggle but I hope that people see my case and realize how HDH is mistreating it’s workers.
– Anonymous Custodian

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UCSD workers in action

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Our Voices will be Heard!!

“We will not let you do what you want and not let our voices be heard…when they are not letting him (Leo) go to these meetings they are denying our right for our voices to be heard”– Imelda,AFSCME 3299 union orgnanizer

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AFSCME 3299- Representation!!

Yesterday, at 12:00 pm, AFSCME 3299 held an action  at the Labor Relations office, right across UCSD’S transfer’s housing. The action is regarding  UCOP’s refusal to release Leo De La Torre the executive board member and representative of AFSCME 3299 service bargaining team to the upcoming  Patient Care and Service contract negotiations. AFSCME 3299’s union leader believes that UCOP’s decision is a strategic move to divide the union between Patient care and service workers. AFSCME 3299 demands representation and transparency.“The bargaining team is the foundation of a successful contract campaign; with the AFSCME membership at our side we will fight UC’s continued attacks and disrespect.” – Tim Thrush, Patient Care Vice President, UCSF