Media Advisory for May 1, 2001
Contact: Laura Saponara/AFSCME, 510.663.3939 (office), 415.595.7535 (cell)

University of California Workers Protest

May Day rallies will be held at all nine campuses

UC Davis 12pm at the Medical Center, 2315 Stockton; 4pm at the campus, Mrak Hall on Mrak Hall Drive near Old Davis Rd.
UC Irvine 12pm in the patio at the Medical Center, 101 The City Drive
UC Los Angeles 3:30pm in front of the Neuro Psychiatric Institute at the Medical Center, 760 Westwood Plaza
UC Riverside 2pm at the Clocktower in the center of campus
UC Santa Barbara Silent actions will take place all day; call for details
UC Santa Cruz April 30, 12pm in front of the Communications Building
UC San Diego 12pm in front of Basic Science Building at campus; 3:30 at Medical Center in Hillcrest
UC San Francisco 3:30pm, workers will gather in cafeteria, 2nd floor of Long-Moffitt Building
UC Berkeley Call for details

California - Hundreds of employees at each of the nine University of California (UC) campuses and five medical centers will rally on May 1 to protest abuses they say undermine the rights and well-being of workers. The May Day rallies mark the beginning of contract negotiations with UC management. Workers are entering the negotiations with an unprecedented degree of unity and strength, as membership in their union has tripled in the past year.

Workers say the inadequate conditions of employment in many departments at UC contradict the University's image as a place of equal opportunity and social progress. Among workers' key concerns are short-staffing, the need for improved health and safety conditions and the practice of paying new employees higher salaries than senior workers.

In several UC hospitals, short-staffing has become more pronounced in the past few years, leading to concerns about the declining quality of patient care. Workers hope to build on significant gains made during the last round of negotiations last year, when UC formally agreed to stop the practice of hiring, firing and re-hiring workers to avoid providing them with benefit packages.

May 1 marks the first day of negotiations for 17,000 hospital assistants and technicians, food service, maintenance and billing workers throughout the UC system who are represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

* Interviews with union members can be arranged by calling the contact number above. Spanish-to-English translation available.