Passed: Support for UC Union Contract Campaigns

On April 3, 2018, the East Bay DSA Steering Committee voted in favor of supporting the UC union contract campaigns. Below is the text of the resolution.

Whereas, as socialists, the East Bay Democratic Socialists of America are committed to supporting working class struggle and the rights of working people to all the value that their labor creates;

Whereas, as socialists, we recognize the centrality and importance of labor struggle in not only improving the lives of working people, but in building their power as a class;

Whereas, the University of California is both a public institution and one of the state's largest employers; as such, the UC bears an important responsibility in setting standards for living wages and good working conditions;

Whereas, there are many current EBDSA members working and/or studying within the UC system, and UC Berkeley in particular

Whereas, several major statewide union contracts with the University are currently expired, with bargaining talks stalled or in impasse procedure. This includes:

  • AFSCME 3299, a local of American Federation of State County, and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, which represents 24,000 service and patient care workers at UC campuses and hospitals, including custodians, groundskeepers, food service workers, as well as X-ray techs, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, and other frontline patient care workers.
  • UPTE-CWA 9119, the University Professional and Technical Employees, a local of the Communication Workers of America, AFL-CIO, which represents nearly 15,000  licensed healthcare, technical and research workers at the UC, including social workers, pharmacists, staff researchers, and employees in media technology.
  • The California Nurses Association, which represents 12,000 nurses at UC hospitals, clinics, and student health centers.

Additionally, The UC Student Workers' Union (UAW 2865), a union of over 17,000 academic student employees across the statewide UC system, is currently in bargaining with the university.

Whereas, the University of California is a strategic site of intervention in the struggle against austerity and privatization of our most important public institutions, as well as an important site of class struggle. The UC is currently run by an appointed and unaccountable board of political donors hand-chosen from the state’s billionaire class, who manage the university like a for-profit corporation, while looting it for their own gain;

Whereas, the University of California is currently offering workers wages that do not keep pace with the skyrocketing costs of living, while cutting healthcare benefits, and important protections to job security and good working conditions;

Whereas, AFSCME 3299 has partnered with UC students to demand sanctuary policies as well as contractual guarantees that UC will not cooperate with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement to target the campus community, and the University has refused to address these concerns;

Whereas, AFSCME 3299 has expressed concerns about the declining numbers of African-American workers on campus and demanded that the UC implement "ban the box" and fair chance hire policies to address the effects of the racist criminal justice system on black communities, and the University has refused;

Whereas, it has been shown that public sector union jobs have played an important role in uplifting African-American workers. The struggle for workers rights is the struggle for racial justice — any assault on public sector unions, and especially a refusal to facilitate access to union jobs for black communities, perpetuates economic inequality and structural racism.

Therefore be it resolved that EBDSA fully endorses and supports these ongoing labor struggles at the University of California, as a strategic site of class struggle and the fight against neoliberal austerity;

Be it further resolved that EBDSA Steering Committee will work with the Labor Team and any other interested groups within the chapter to facilitate support for the contract campaigns of UC unions, including but not limited to collaborating on events or demonstrations, raising awareness among chapter membership as well as other California DSA chapters, and supporting any other worker actions.