University of California healthcare workers schedule strike

Patient care technical workers at University of California campuses plan to strike Oct. 23-25 at UC medical centers, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 announced Oct. 12.

AFSCME Local 3299, which represents more than 15,000 of the UC workers, said UC service workers represented by AFSCME Local 3299, as well as professional healthcare, research and technical workers represented by University Professional and Technical Employees, CWA 9119, will join the patient care technical workers in solidarity.  

Union members said they will strike because of increasing racial and gender disparities within UC's workforce. They also said the university circumvented the negotiating process and imposed employment terms on patient care workers

"The University of California has continuously ignored workers' concerns over the outsourcing of good middle-class jobs and the inequality and insecurity that it creates for the hardworking people that run UC every day," said Monica De Leon, vice president of AFSCME Local 3299's patient care technical unit. "By ignoring the well-founded concerns of its frontline workforce, UC is eroding the quality of service that we provide to the students, patients and communities that depend on us."

The strike announcement comes after UC service workers represented by AFSCME Local 3299 began a three-day strike May 7 over issues such as wages, healthcare premiums and job outsourcing.  Members of the UPTE-CWA and the California Nurses Association joined the walkout May 8.

"For the second time in five months, AFSCME leaders are putting their agenda above the needs of patients, students, employees and the public by calling for yet another strike," UC spokesperson Claire Doan told Becker's. "Union leaders refuse to allow their own members to vote on UC's competitive contract offer, instead spending months threatening and now conducting a strike vote."

"Rather than engage in constructive talks at the negotiating table, AFSCME leaders are using the threat of a strike as a scare tactic. This approach already has cost UC service workers several thousand dollars' worth of pay increases, limits on health insurance costs and other benefits," said Ms. Doan.

She said the university will do as much as possible to limit any potential disruptions during a strike.

 

 

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