U of California workers to strike March 20, Bernie Sanders to attend

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., a 2020 presidential candidate, will make an appearance as University of California workers strike March 20, according to a union news release.  

Mr. Sanders is expected to attend a union rally at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles.

The strike involves university professional and technical employees represented by the UPTE-CWA 9119 union, who are walking off the job over what they argue is income inequality. Members of the AFSCME Local 3299 union, which represents the university's service and patient care technical workers, will also strike in sympathy.

"For over a year, the University of California has continued to ignore the well-founded concerns of the workers that make this the finest research institution in the world," said UPTE-CWA 9119 President Jamie McDole in the news release. "By shortchanging the front-line workers who make UC run every day, administrators are showing a profound lack of commitment to the students, patients and taxpayers that this institution is supposed to serve."

Claire Doan, director of media relations with the university's office of the president, expressed disappointment about the strike plans and called them "unfortunate."

"The university feels the way to a deal is at the bargaining table — not on the picket lines — and should not come at the expense of patients, students, the university and our communities," she told Becker's in a statement.

She added that the university is "disappointed with UPTE leadership" regarding demands for "unreasonable double-digit raises (up to 26 percent over the life of the agreement) that are far beyond those given to other UC employees."

She also noted that AFSCME leaders announced their intent to strike in sympathy with UPTE at the same time their negotiators were at the bargaining table with the university.

Pickets are scheduled March 20 at UCLA Medical Center, San Francisco-based UCSF Medical Center, San Diego-based UCSD Medical Center, Sacramento, Calif.-based UC Davis Medical Center, and Orange, Calif.-based UC Irvine Medical Center.


More articles on human capital and risk: 

NYC hospital alliance files labor charge against union after strike announced
Munson Medical Center, union reach tentative labor deal
New York City workers from 3 health systems to strike April 2



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