Some 22,000 UC patient care and support staff are affiliated with the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 3299. AFSCME Local 3299 officials say the strike was called because of management intimidation of workers who have objected to staffing levels.
“It can be getting letters from management implying, or just stating outright that people could be subject to discipline for exercising their right to speak up and go on strike,” says Kathryn Lybarger, a Local 3299 spokesperson.
The California Public Employee Relations Board will look into the allegations.
University of California officials say the strike announcement is a union pressure tactic intended to influence contract negotiations.
UC graduate instructors affiliated with the United Auto Workers have voted to authorize a sympathy strike, as have UC nurses with the California Nurses Association.
Meanwhile, Napolitano has restarted talks with technical staff affiliated with the Communications Workers of America.