Dwaine B. Duckett, vice president of systemwide human resources at the University of California, issued the following statement regarding AFSCME's Nov. 20 strike at UC medical centers and campuses:

Related Links

First, I want to say how grateful we are to the majority of our patient care technical and service employees, who put the needs of patients and students first and came to work during AFSCME's strike. Initial reports from our medical centers and campuses indicate that on average more than half of AFSCME-represented employees came in and did their jobs. We appreciate and respect the professionalism and dedication these colleagues displayed. It is outstanding.

We hope AFSCME leadership now will channel its energy into resolving our differences.

It is well past time to get this contract settled. AFSCME’s two-day strike in May and its follow-up strike on Wednesday were counterproductive and costly. It also did nothing to bring us closer together. Our patients and students deserve better.

While AFSCME prepared for its strike, the university worked diligently with its other unions to find common ground. Last weekend, UC reached a comprehensive four-year agreement with the California Nurses Association, which represents more than 11,700 UC nurses. The university also recently finalized contracts with our librarians', lecturers' and police officers' unions. We also have bargaining sessions on the books with the University Professionals and Technical Employees (UPTE) in early December.

We are committed to doing the same with AFSCME, but union leaders have to meet us halfway. If AFSCME will focus on getting back to the table and demonstrate at least some flexibility — the kind of flexibility that we have shown — we hope to reach a fair agreement soon.

As we did the week of Nov. 4, we have invited AFSCME back to the bargaining table and scheduled meetings for Dec. 11–12 and Dec. 17–18. We hope the union's energies will be directed toward reaching an agreement this time, as opposed to positioning for another strike. We are coming into these meetings ready to reach a settlement. We urge AFSCME to do the same.

Read more about UC’s negotiations with AFSCME at http://ucal.us/PatientCareTechs