Employee Union Files Lawsuit Against UC System

AFSCME Local 3299 Alleges UC System Has Not Provided Records Requested in October

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An employee union has filed a lawsuit against the UC system in an attempt to obtain public financial records they filed requests for eight months ago.

The suit, filed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299, alleges that 10 UC campuses stalled in providing expenditure records when union leaders made public record requests back in October 2008.

According to the suit, the campuses have yet to reply.

The suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court on June 29, also alleges that the various fees for compiling public records at each campus violated the California Public Records Act, which guarantees access to records that pertain to public business and matters.

However, a statement from the general counsel of the UC Office of the President argues that the UC system is fully compliant with public record laws.

"We consider this a frivolous lawsuit and we will pursue vigorously all remedies possible to us," the statement reads. "The UC is in full compliance with public record laws. It's especially galling that AFSCME chose to bring this action at a time when the university faces a reduction of $813 million in core state funding."

According to the suit, some campuses required the union to pay production fees rather than duplication fees.

For example, the suit alleges that UCLA charged the union with a $4,000 production fee.

Lakesha Harrison, president of AFSCME Local 3299, said the union

attempted to obtain records for its contract negotiations with the UC system, which ended in February as the parties both reached an agreement.

However, with the UC Board of Regents preparing to vote on employee pay cuts and mandatory furloughs next week, Harrison said the university still needs to provide the records.

"Right now they are talking 8 percent cuts and furloughs," she said. "You are talking about laying off workers and so we need to see those records that say you need to do that."

She said gaining access to UC public records has been an ongoing problem.

In addition to requests for financial public records, the union has other requests pending with the university, including requests for copies of contracts. The union filed those requests two months ago, according to a statement from the union.


Alexandra Wilcox is the assistant news editor. Contact her at [email protected]

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