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Letter from Vice President Duckett to UPTE/AFSCME-represented employees regarding Mar. 20 strike

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Dear colleague:
Your union is asking you and your bargaining unit colleagues to join in a one-day strike on March 20th.
Striking is serious, and impacts the critical services and care we know you take great pride in delivering to the people who depend on you. We believe it is highly inappropriate for any union to threaten services to patients, students and the public as a negotiating tactic.
It is essential you understand the implications of striking. Attached is important information for you about striking, including your right not to. Please read it carefully.
If your union goes through with its strike activities, you may still come to work and we hope you will.
As it has before, UC will seek legal protection for patients against a strike due to the imminent threat it poses to public health and safety.We will let you know if your position is among those that are barred from striking.
UC has been negotiating in good faith with your union for over a year and a half to try to get you a fair contract. Throughout negotiations, UC has demonstrated a good-faith willingness to compromise, and has repeatedly offered enhanced proposals that have included multi-year wage increases and excellent medical and retirement benefits for you, consistent with pay increases and benefits for other union-represented and non-represented employees.
UC believes the way to a deal is at the bargaining table not on the picket lines, and that an agreement should not come at the expense of patients, students, other UC colleagues or the communities we serve.
I am saddened by how long these negotiations have taken, and concerned that we have not been able to give you additional pay increases. You play an important role in supporting the university and we greatly appreciate your hard work and contributions.
We will continue to bargain in good faith to get you the contract you deserve as quickly as possible, but that will require good-faith efforts from both sides.
As always, thank you for everything you do for the university and the people we serve.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your local labor relations office.
Dwaine B. Duckett
Vice President
UC Systemwide Human Resources

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