University of California hospitals prepare for pending strike: 7 things to know

Preparation efforts are ongoing ahead of a pending strike by union workers at University of California hospitals and college campuses.

Here are seven things to know.

1. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents tens of thousands UC patient care and service workers, including 4,500 at the UC Davis campus and medical center, scheduled a statewide strike from May 7 to May 9 over issues such as wages and outsourcing of jobs. The University Professional and Technical Employees and California Nurses Association are also slated to support the strike from May 8 to May 9, said Jacqueline Carr, a UC San Diego Health spokesperson, in a statement to Becker's Hospital Review.

2. Amid news of the strike plans, Dwaine Duckett, UC's vice president of human resources, sent a letter to colleagues, stating the university petitioned the California Public Employment Relations Board and was notified the board will seek a court order on behalf of UC to restrict the number of striking AFSCME-represented employees.

"The court hearing will be held within the next day or two and we will let you know the court's decision as soon as possible," the letter, dated May 2, reads. 

3. Laura Margoni, a spokesperson for UCSD, told The San Diego Union-Tribune the campus has strike contingency plans but did not elaborate on specific efforts to address large numbers of general service workers being away from work.

4. Ms. Carr said a temporary impact to patient care is expected during the strike. She said nonurgent, elective surgical cases are being rescheduled in the short term, and "at the appropriate time, our emergency and trauma departments may be put on bypass." This means the EDs would solely take urgent cases from their service boundaries, according to the report, which notes the AFSCME also plans to have workers who are prepared to step in in the event of overwhelmed emergency services.

5. Ms. Carr said potentially affected UCSD patients will be contacted by patient care teams.

6. The university is currently in contract negotiations with the AFSCME, the University Professional and Technical Employees and the CNA.

7. The pending strike could still be avoided if a resolution is reached.



More articles on human capital and relations:
Kaiser workers to protest at hospitals across California: 10 things to know
Hospitals and unions: 11 recent conflicts, agreements
Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital workers hold picket amid contract negotiations

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