Introduction to CAPS’ Strike Standards
The following Strike Standards would go into effect should the CAPS Bargaining Team call for a union-led strike. A union-led strike may occur after 1) the membership has authorized it, and 2) circumstances warrant. On September 1, 2023, the CAPS membership voted to approve a strike authorization with 94% approval. On September 26, 2023, the Public Employees Relations Board (PERB) formally determined that CAPS and the State of California are at an impasse in their negotiations to reach a successor Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Mediation is the impasse resolution procedure granted to us under the Dills Act.
In the event of a strike, all rank-and-file CAPS members are expected to follow these Strike Standards. The purpose of a strike is to achieve the best possible contract for rank-and-file State Scientists, and these standards help ensure State Scientists are acting properly and avoiding discipline while engaging in protected job actions.
Please take the time to read and review the Strike Standards in their entirety. Strict adherence to these Strike Standards by all rank-and-file CAPS members will ensure a more effective strike and ultimately a better contract.
The principle behind the Standards is simple: while your union, CAPS, is striking, you (a rank-and-file State Scientist) should not provide work, knowledge, expertise, or assistance, of any kind, to the State of California. There are also Standards for picket lines and other strike support activities, including honoring all CAPS picket lines and performing assigned strike support duties.
CAPS professional labor representatives are available to answer your questions regarding these Standards. Please contact us with any inquiries by calling: (916) 441-2629 or emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CAPS Strike Standards
All rank-and-file CAPS Members are expected to comply with the following Strike Standards. That is the duty we all owe each other as members of CAPS, and it is critical all members follow the Strike Standards to make sure the strike is as effective (and short) as possible, and that our union has the greatest leverage possible to win a fair deal. As famous labor-organizer, Jane McAlevey says, we win in relationship to the power we build!
If a rank-and-file State Scientist you know is considering not striking, talk with them, address their concerns, and make sure they don’t make an uninformed decision that leads to a mistake that would compromise the effectiveness of the strike. A strike is short, the consequences of crossing the picket lines impact all current and future State Scientists.
If a lawful, union-led strike is called:
- Immediately stop performing all work for the State of California.
- Do not complete existing assignments started before the strike.
- Do not perform work even if you work at home rather than in a state facility.
- Do not attend meetings, or engage in conversations concerning new, pending, or future projects or assignments.
- Do not answer phone calls, text messages, or emails from your supervisor or anyone at your department or agency.
- Picket* and/or perform other strike support duties and cooperate with CAPS’ committees and Strike Captains.
- In the event of a strike, you will be called upon to picket at specific locations or to perform other vital strike support duties. The picket line serves as a visible demonstration to the State and members of the public that State Scientists are united in our demands and solidly behind the strike, mass participation is critical to the success of the strike.
- Other types of strike support duties* may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Phone banking,
- Letter writing,
- Delivering flyers to local businesses,
- Assisting the Strike Captain in organizing
- Picket line support, such as collecting and distributing materials for the picket line.
- Each picketing location will have at least one strike captain devoted to organizing and tracking participation.
- Honor all CAPS picket lines.
- Do not enter any state office that employs State Scientists to conduct state business.
- Do not use leave time to cover your time participating in a strike.
- Using leave time defeats the purpose of a strike, as using leave credits means you’re technically still “working,” and it counts as service time.
*If there is a personal circumstance making picketing and/or other strike support duties impossible when requested, members should arrange alternate times or strike support duties with their assigned Strike Captain to ensure they are continuing to contribute to the strike effort and remain in good standing.
Rules Pertaining to Nonmembers
Rank-and-File non-members are entitled to strike if a legal union-led strike is called, however, non-members do not receive representation should they be disciplined. Non-members are also not eligible to receive any strike or hardship pay.
Strike Hardship Fund
Strike Hardship Fund Donations:
A GiveButter campaign has been established for folks to collect donations. This is the only official CAPS GiveButter Strike Hardship Fund campaign from the union. Please only share this link as this is verified and connected to the CAPS accounts: https://givebutter.com/StateScience
Only striking rank-and-file CAPS members in good standing are eligible for strike hardship pay. CAPS may determine further eligibility for receiving strike hardship pay based on strike and picket duties, and available funds.
Requirements to qualify for Strike Hardship Pay:
- Complete 1 strike duty shift per day for the duration of the strike.
- Strike Shifts are 4-hour time blocks.
- Strike duties include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Attending a picket line
- Phone Banking
- Letter writing
- Picket Line Support
- Collecting materials
- Assisting the Strike Captain in organizing
- Delivering flyers to local businesses
Rank-and-file CAPS members interested in obtaining Strike Hardship Funds must fill out the application form to be developed, should a strike be necessary.
Rank-and-file CAPS members will receive a picket card when they apply for strike hardship pay that they will keep, and which their strike captain will initial when they report for picket duty or other assigned strike duties.
Should a strike be necessary, the Member Action Committee (MAC) will appoint Strike Captains, based on applications received. Applications are to be released, should circumstances warrant. Each picketing location will have at least one Strike Captain devoted to organizing and tracking participation. Strike Captains are responsible for the following strike duties:
- Making strike assignments at their designated work location.
- Assignments to various duties will be based on worksite needs and individual members’ disability access needs.
- Defining and approving picketing alternatives for those rank-and-file members with mitigating personal circumstances.
Strike Captains will be in charge of taking attendance and reporting it on a standardized, electronic attendance sheet. This is to be released, should circumstances warrant. Rank-and-file CAPS members will receive a picket card when they apply for strike hardship pay that they will keep, and which their Strike Captain will initial when they report for picket duty or other assigned strike duties. The redundancy in this system will ensure the contribution of all members to the picket line is recorded.