The Union of American Physicians and Dentists, which represents doctors and dentists at UC student health centers, has announced it will ask its members to strike Jan. 27, 2015. Below is important information about strikes, including information about your right not to strike.

Coming to work during a strike

Q. If I'm in the union, am I obligated to strike? Can the union penalize me for not striking?

A. 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. Some unions can fine dues-paying members (but not nonmembers) for working during a strike. A union member who does not want to strike may contact her/his union to confirm there will not be fines. UC won’t deduct fines from employees’ paychecks.

Q. Can the UAPD contact me at home and tell me not to come to work on the day of the strike?

A. The UAPD has the right to communicate with you and encourage you to participate in the strike.   However, they do not have the right to harass or threaten you if you come to work on the day of the scheduled strike. Depending upon the circumstances surrounding such communications, the union’s conduct may violate state labor laws. If you are subjected to threats or harassment, please report them directly to your supervisor or your campus Labor Relations Office.

Q. My manager asked me if I plan to work my scheduled shift on Jan. 27. Do I have to answer?

A. Employees are free to decide whether or not to answer this question. The reason we are asking if you will work your Jan. 27 shift is because we are committed to ensuring patient care and safety during a strike, and need to prepare accordingly. 

Q. If I don’t answer or if I say I don’t plan to work during the strike, will I be penalized?

A. No. You can be assured there will be no retaliation for how you answer or if you decide not to.

Q. Will UC inform my union about whether I plan to work on Jan. 27?

A. No. Employee responses will not be shared with the unions.

Q. Will I be barred from coming to work during a strike?

A. No. Under the law, you’re free to cross a picket line and come to work.

Q. What if I want to work but I’m being blocked or confronted by picketers or striking workers?

A. Pickets are lawful so long as they remain peaceful and do not block the entrances to buildings, or make roadways, walkways or sidewalks impassable. They cannot interfere with the normal course of business, or prevent non-striking employees from working. The university will assist employees who want to work by providing security or transportation across picket lines. Campus security will be physically present at each of the targeted strike locations to ensure that striking employees do not exceed the picketing rights described above, and that employees and patients can safely enter and exit the targeted locations at all times.

Non-striking employees should avoid confrontations and need not respond to any comments that picketers may direct at them. Non-striking employees should not invite or engage in any exchanges that might inflame the situation. If an employee feels he or she is being harassed or prevented from working by picketers, striking employees or union officials, the employee should notify his or her supervisor or the campus Labor Relations Office.

Impacts of striking on employee pay, benefits and/or work

Q. If I come to work during a strike, what pay and benefits will I receive?

A. If you come to work, you will receive the same pay and benefits as you normally do.

Q. If I strike, will I lose pay and benefits?

A. You will not be paid for time lost due to participating in a strike. Benefits that are affected by the percentage of time worked during the month may be affected.

Q. Will I lose pay if I’m simply absent from work during the strike?

A. If any employee does not report to work as assigned, UC will presume — absent prior authorization or medical certification — that her/his work absence during a strike period is strike related. Employees who are absent from work without authorization during a strike will not be paid for the absence. As is always the case, authorization for an absence from work (e.g., vacation leave or compensatory time) may or may not be granted, depending on operational necessity and without regard to the employee's reason for the requested leave.