Possible Strike Looms at UC Davis Hospital by Tech Workers

UC Davis joins four UC facilities threatening a walk-out this month over illegal bargaining practices.

UC Davis Medical Center. Credit: Wikimedia.
UC Davis Medical Center. Credit: Wikimedia.
By Bay City News Service

Some 13,000 patient care technical workers plan to walk off the job at five University of California hospitals -- including UC Davis Medical Center -- during a five-day strike later this month over alleged illegal bargaining practices by university administrators, a union spokesman announced today. 

The workers at all five UC hospitals - Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco - intend to strike over alleged unfair labor practices March 24 to March 28, said Todd Stenhouse, a spokesman for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299, which represents those employees.

Union representatives said the strike is in response to alleged "growing incidents of illegal, bad faith bargaining," which include the university's unilateral implementation of benefit cuts and contract terms and a last-minute proposal to allow the UC to send hospital workers home when patient counts are low.

AFSCME Local 3299 has filed unfair labor practice charges against the university with the Public Employment Relations Board and sent a notice of intent to strike on Thursday. 

In a statement released today, UC Vice President of Human Resources Dwaine Duckett lamented the union's strike announcement, calling it "patently unfair to the people we serve and our other dedicated hospital workers." 

However, he said the university is committed to settling a contract with the employees and have resumed negotiations with AFSCME representatives as of today. 

UC spokeswoman Dianne Klein said earlier this week that the university has agreed to the union's demands regarding pensions, benefits and time off, but that the two sides disagree over wages. 

She said the emergency call-off measure is already part of nurses' contracts and is common at hospitals nationwide and noted that the strike would be the union's third over the past nine months. 

Union officials say the planned strike as well as a similar strike held in November have been prompted by UC administrators' repeated illegal treatment toward patient care workers. 

"By repeatedly and illegally subverting the collective bargaining process, UC has created unnecessary conflict and sabotaged our good faith efforts to improve patient care at UC Hospitals," said Randall Johnson, an MRI technologist at University of California, San Francisco. 

"The frontline workers we represent know that if left unchallenged, UC's serial lawbreaking will ultimately endanger the patients we serve. And we are not going to let that happen," he said. 

According to the union, the UC has repeatedly cited fiscal constraints during contract talks even as UC hospitals took in more than $632 million in profits last year, with two UC hospital CEOs earning more than $1 million each. 

"It increasingly appears that UC is willing to break the law and endanger patients in the pursuit of profit and financial rewards for its highest paid executives," said UCLA clinical care partner Monica Martinez. 

"This would be unacceptable for any hospital but it is especially deplorable when it comes from a non-profit, public health delivery system that is subsidized by California taxpayers," she said. 

Patient care technical workers include pharmacy technicians, respiratory therapists, radiation therapists who treat cancer patients and those who operate equipment for x-rays, MRIs, ultrasounds, CT scans and mammograms. 

As during previous strikes, AFSCME has voluntarily exempted 49 workers from striking, according to Stenhouse. 

Copyright © 2014 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.
denny rane March 15, 2014 at 03:57 PM
...a bit early in the morning for troglodyte, reactionary, union back-stabbing isn't it.? :-) Hospitals have been playing this Shell Game sine the 1970's. It has nothing to do with Unions, or the "Affordable Care Act". After 4 decades of Permian Economics that were instituted equally by the Dems and Repubs...Americans are finally fighting back. Even the exploited workers of places like Walmart are wising up. And knock of the BS Red Baiting crap. There is NOTHING wrong with Socialized Medicine...something we have never had btw. Unless of course you are against Socialized: Highway systems Police departments Schools Fire departments Armed forces Libraries Water departments As for Hostess, Hospitals, Fast Food chains, etc etc....F Them. Let them close...who gives a shi)t.? Something better will fill the void. Positive social change is Revolutionary, not Evolutionary. As the man said.....Freedom Was Born From The Barrel Of A Gun God Bless
Amanda B March 15, 2014 at 08:35 PM
I have worked in both union and non union shops. The Union's main interest is making the Union more money. The Affordable Care act has deep cutting impact to all Health Care organizations. I work for one of the largest ones in Northern CA, so i have first hand knowledge of what that look like. And i am one of the ones who could lose their job. I also have personally witnessed many friends and family have to drop their coverage because their insurance rates were raised by 90 percent due to the ACA. I have also worked with many people over the years who moved here from Canada or England, and who had to live with Socialized medicine. They ALL said it was horrendous and were truly thankful we didn't have it here. Believe what you will....but the truth is the truth...Troglodyte or not.
denny rane March 16, 2014 at 12:28 AM
Give us a break wit the 3 Canadians and 5 UK emigrants you know that moved here and were so happy to be rid of their dreaded "Socialized Medicine". That shi)t has had the lie put to it for the last 3 decades. Those people are just as happy with their health plans as any other country in the world. UNIONS did not dream up The ACA. THAT was a power grab put to paper by the sitting President and the current Health Insurance Companies. INSURANCE COMPANIES raised the rates...not Unions, and not Socialists. Capitalism raised the Insurance Rates. THAT is one of the main problems with ACA.....It leaves Private Insurance Companies in charge of our Heath Care. So YOU got what you want. Capitalist Health care that is horrible and expensive. It is more Wealth By Dispossession...further transferring of the publics funds to Private Companies. By the by...Unions DO NOT make money. You need to take a basic Econ and Poli-Sci class at your local college. YOU have a lot to learn, but it will be fun. God Bless
Roberto March 17, 2014 at 01:26 AM
Hello! It's NOT Affordable Health Care, it's Obamacare. Affordable Health Care would be affordable. This isn't.
Amanda B March 17, 2014 at 11:22 AM
I use the term "Affordable" sarcastically. Agree there is nothing affordable about it. But then, what do i know. If you read earlier posts, i am un uneducated, knuckle dragging cave dweller.....so what could i possibly know about anything?


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