U of California hospital, college workers to strike May 7-9

Tens of thousands union workers at University of California hospitals and college campuses will strike next month, according to The Sacramento Bee.

The 24,000 patient care and service workers, including 4,500 at the UC Davis campus and medical center, are represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. They plan to strike May 7-9 due to what they perceive as unequal wages and the hiring of contract workers to do work previously done by union members, according to the report.  

"We are really fighting to right the ship and make UC a much more equitable place," Kathryn Lybarger, president of AFSCME 3299, told The Sacramento Bee. Ms. Lybarger noted the union was also concerned about the pay gap between UC executives and frontline workers.

Additionally, she addressed the issue of contract workers, saying they often do not receive the minimum wage set for UC workers, or benefits, which negatively affects market wages throughout California, according to the report.

Claire Doan, director of media relations in the UC Office of the President, responded to the union's assertions in an emailed statement to The Sacramento Bee. She specifically cited a recent review of market data on executive compensation, which is used to determine salaries, and said compensation for union service workers, such as custodians, gardeners, food service workers and facilities maintenance workers, is determined in the same way, according to the report.

"Only 4 percent of UC's 223,000 employees earn more than $200,000 a year," she wrote in the statement to The Sacramento Bee. "Among those who do, nearly 70 percent are clinical or ladder-rank faculty professors. In addition, UC's top executives comprise less than 1 percent of all employees. Their combined earnings equate less than one-quarter of 1 percent of UC's budget."

Ms. Doan also said union service employees at UC are paid at or above market rates, according to the report.


More articles on human capital:

UPHS-Marquette nurses vote to put option for second strike on table
Workers at Tenet hospital picket in California over patient care concerns
Union says Mayo retaliated against striking employees in new NLRB charges: 7 things to know

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