Thousands of University of California patient care workers are back on the job today after a two-day strike at five UC medical centers demanding better patient care and safe staffing levels. Outside the centers, members of AFSCME Local 3299—the nurses, surgical and X-ray technicians, custodians, servers, cooks and others who keep one of the largest medical systems in the country running—chanted:
What’s this about? Patient care! All day, all night—safe staffing is our fight.
Local 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger said the strike was “about standing up for students, patients and taxpayers the UC medical system was intended to serve.”
Executive compensation at University of California medical centers is up by $100 million since 2009 and executives are taking lifetime pensions of up to $300,000 a year, all while compromising on safe staffing levels, says AFSCME.
For nearly a year, the University of California medical system has refused to negotiate reasonable safe staffing, retirement security and fair wage proposals. In spite of hundreds of millions in annual profits, administrators want to cut pensions and slash retiree health care, the union says.
Before the walkout began, Local 3299 took measures to ensure that patient care needs would be met, including keeping nearly 500 key workers on the job. .
You can help workers at the University of California medical centers by signing this petition.