Scheduled Labor Strike at UC campuses on November 20, 2013

November 15, 2013

To:         UCSC Managers and Supervisors

From:    Jo Packham, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Staff Human Resources            
             Pamela Peterson, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Academic Personnel

Re:         Scheduled Labor Strike at UC campuses on November 20, 2013

The University has been informed that there will be a labor strike on all of its campuses and medical centers on November 20, 2013. Up to date information will be provided on the UCSC website at www.ucsc.edu. For questions, you may call the Employee & Labor Relations office at 831-459-2017 or email: elrinfo@ucsc.edu.

UC and AFSCME have been unable to reach agreement on new contracts, and the union has called for a systemwide strike. Two other unions — the California Nurses Association and the UAW local that represents academic student employees — have announced plans to strike in support of AFSCME.

At this time, we do not know how these strike activities will impact our campus. However, as we know from past experience, there is the possibility that access to the main campus may be impeded. We offer the following guidance to help you and your employees plan in advance:

Accessibility - Employees are expected to work their normal schedules on November 20, 2013. Please instruct your employees to check campus accessibility before they come to work. Information will be posted on a special web site:http://www.ucsc.edu/advisory/, recorded on the campus communication hotline (459-INFO), provided to KZSC Radio (88.1 FM) for broadcast, and shared via the campus Twitter account (http://twitter.com/#!/ucsc). If access to the campus is not possible, further instructions to employees will be posted via these channels.

Work Flexibility - In order to minimize the number of people attempting to access the campus, employee requests to work from home or for an alternate work site may be considered and approved based on operational needs. We encourage you to be as flexible as possible when considering these requests from your employees.

Request for Vacation or Compensatory Time Off (CTO) - Managers and supervisors may approve advance requests to schedule vacation or CTO (overtime leave) in accordance with policy and labor agreements and as it is customarily administered within your unit/division. Employees requesting vacation or CTO due to concerns about their safety should be granted the time off.

Request for Sick Leave - Requests for sick leave should be handled in accordance with policy and labor agreements and as it is customarily administered within your unit/division. For example, if it is your normal practice to require a doctor’s note from an employee who calls in sick, then you may do so on this day. However, if you do not normally require a doctor’s note when an employee calls in sick, then you may not change your practice on a strike day. Be advised that a unit/division may be required to prove at a later date that its practice existed prior to the strike.

Request for Union Business Leave - Please forward the employee’s request to the Employee & Labor Relations office at 459-2017 or elrinfo@ucsc.edu.

Absence without Approval - If the campus is accessible and an employee is absent without advance approval to use vacation or compensatory time off and has not called in sick, then the day should be recorded as an unapproved absence and the employee’s pay will be adjusted in accordance with policy and labor agreements.

Recording Attendance - Employee attendance will be reported as normal through Cruz Pay and other time reporting practices. In order to assess the impact of the strike, we may ask supervisors or units to provide additional information on absences or cancelled classes for a report to the Office of the President.

Absence due to Inaccessibility - If the campus is officially determined to be inaccessible, the Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor may approve administrative leave with pay for those employees who are expected to work but are unable to access the workplace. Employees should not be encouraged to enter the campus to work nor should they be transported onto campus if it is deemed inaccessible by the Police Chief.

Health and Safety - It is important to ensure that your employees are advised that their safety is always the first priority.  Employees should not be expected to jeopardize their safety in attempting to get to work if access to the campus is blocked. Please emphasize to your employees that they should follow the directions regarding campus access that will be communicated through the channels noted above.

Strike related questions should be forwarded to your Employee & Labor Relations Analyst, the Employee & Labor Relations office at 459-2017 or email: elrinfo@ucsc.edu.

Please be assured that the campus is planning for the day’s activities and will provide communication updates as the day unfolds. You can direct department questions to your Employee & Labor Relations Analyst or your Divisional Academic Personnel Coordinator.

Thank you in advance for your patience and cooperation.

Copy:  Chancellor Blumenthal        
           Campus Provost/Executive Vice Chancellor Galloway  
           Vice Chancellor Latham        
           Associate Vice Chancellor Scott        
           Senior Manager Mayne    
           Staff Human Resources          
           Human Resources Advisory Group        
           Academic Divisional Coordinators