Informational Picketing at UC Hospitals Friday morning
UC RNs, Researchers and Technicians Vote for Strike Authorization at UC Medical Centers
Registered nurses, pharmacists, social workers and other professional employees will be picketing in front of the five University of California Medical Centers located in Irvine, Los Angeles, Sacramento San Diego, and San Francisco Friday morning, November 1 to protest UC’s threat to implement take-away proposals against thousands of long serving employees.
The research and technical units represented by University Professional and Technical Employees-Communications Workers of America (UPTE-CWA) at UC voted by more than 92 percent to give the union strike authorization, after months of bargaining to beat back the employer’s proposals that include severe cuts to pay and benefits.
In voting that concluded on Wednesday, October 30, CNA-represented Registered Nurses at all UC Medical Centers and campuses voted by 95% to authorize a sympathy strike in support of UPTE or another UC union, should one of those unions be forced out on strike.
What: Informational Picketing
When: Friday November 1, 2013, 6:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
Where: UC Irvine, UCLA, UC Davis, UC San Diego, UCSF
UC Davis- 2315 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento
UC Irvine – 101 The City Drive South, Orange
UCLA – 757 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles
UCLA Santa Monica – 1260 16th St., Santa Monica
UC San Diego Hillcrest- 200 West Arbor Dr., San Diego
UCSF Parnassus – 505 Parnassus Ave., San Francisco
UC is seeking the cuts despite reporting $524.4 million in profits in operating income from the five medical centers just in the fiscal year ending last June 2012, according to its audited financial reports.
UPTE says it continues to seek an expedited negotiated settlement without a strike, but they now have the authorization from the membership to call one if necessary. The contracts that cover 10,000 workers expired on June 30, 2013.
"How long can the University of California retain its status as the world's premiere academic institution when they can no longer recruit and retain the best staff?" questions UPTE President Jelger Kalmijn, a researcher at UC San Diego.
"UC has insisted on massive cuts to benefits even though we have offered to pick up the cost,” said Kalmijn.
The California Nurses Association agreement, which covers 12,000 RNs at the five medical centers and all ten UC campuses, also expired June 30, 2013.
RN bargaining continues over working conditions including safe nurse-to-patient staffing, and retirement. The nurses are supporting the other UC unions’ issues and authorized a sympathy strike in voting held statewide from Oct. 24 through Oct. 30.
"We will support our sister unions who are fighting for a fair contract settlement on safe staffing, fair pay, and a secure retirement,” said Erin Carrera, an RN who works at the UCSF Medical Center.
“We know that our colleagues have dedicated their professional careers to working for this prestigious public institution, with the understanding that they would have the ability to provide optimal quality care and retire in dignity,” Carrera said.
Despite four years of projected increases in state funding, profits at the medical centers, and healthy income from federal grants, UC continues to push for large pay cuts, a decrease in pension benefits by five years, and retiree health benefits by 15 years.