Saturday, November 30, 2013

Strikes at University of California hospitals statewide

Second strike in 6 months at UCLA Medical Center
Some UC Hospital Workers To Participate In 1-Day Strike Wednesday
CBS Local News
Nov 20, 2013

Hundreds of replacement workers will fill in for workers on strike. Dr. Tom Rosenthal, the chief medical officer ...


UCLA Chief Medical Officer Says Strike Is About Pensions, Not Patient Care
May 21, 2013
WESTWOOD ( — As a two-day strike began Tuesday at five of the biggest medical centers in the University of California system, medical workers say they are protesting low staffing levels and patient care, while officials contend that the strike is about pensions.

Thousands of union medical workers walked picket lines throughout the state, including at UC Irvine and the Westwood and Santa Monica campuses of UCLA Medical Center. The strike officially began at 4a.m. Tuesday morning.

The strike comes after nearly a year of stalled contract negotiations with UC administrators. Striking workers said they are protesting a range of issues, including patient care and current staffing levels.

“I am here for my patients, I’m really concerned about their safety,” said radiation therapist Jenny Takakura, who administers radiation to cancer patients.

“We’ve had three therapists that have left, and each time they’ve left they have not been replaced,” she said.

UCLA Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tom Rosenthal said there are no issues with patient care...

[Maura Larkins comment: In fact, there are issues with patient care at UCLA, but they are hushed up. UCLA achieves this by working with other medical centers. UCLA hushes up other hospitals' problems, thus making sure other hospitals aren't motivated to improve, and keeping UCLA's reputation among the best. In fact, the grading is on a curve, so laziness and greed are allowed free rein.]

"The union representing patient care and service employees at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica held a strike last Wednesday. Strikes took place at each of the University of California hospitals statewide on the same day."

UCLA-Santa Monica Hospital Workers Participate In Strike
Parimal M. Rohit
Santa Monica Mirror
Nov. 29, 2013

For the second time in almost six months, some workers from the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center participated in a one-day strike last week.

The Nov. 20 strike, coordinated by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299, took place at each of the University of California hospitals statewide, including the UCLA-run facilities both in Santa Monica and in Westwood.

All hospitals remained open, with elective surgeries directly impacted by the one-day walkout, according to news reports.

Similar to the two-day strike at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and other University of California hospitals in May, elective surgeries scheduled for Nov. 20 were reportedly rescheduled.

Union officials and the workers participating in the strike made demands for increased staffing, pay raises, and updated pension plans.

According to a statement released by UCLA Health, 325 replacement workers filled in for those who joined the picket line. Some administration staff members were “redeployed” to substitute for a variety of workers ranging from housekeeping staff to respiratory therapists and nursing assistants, according to UCLA Health.

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this strike may cause our patients and their families and friends,” UCLA Hospital System’s chief medical officer Dr. Tom Rosenthal said in a released statement prior to the strike. “However, every effort is being made to ensure that the hospitals and clinics that are part of the UCLA Health System remain open and continue to deliver the highest level of patient care.”

In all, 20 percent of elected surgeries scheduled during the one-day strike were rescheduled.

It was estimated the one-day strike would cost the entire UCLA Health System $2.5 million, including lost revenue and compensation for replacement workers.

AFSCME represents about 22,000 patient care and service employees. About 3,800 of those employees work for the UCLA Health System.

Despite the strike, UCLA Health said approximately 75 percent of AFSCME employees still showed up for work.

Also on the picket line alongside AFSCME Local 3299 members were representatives of other unions representing teaching assistants, lecturers, librarians, nurses, and healthcare and research employees at the University of California.

A similar strike took place May 21 and 22, when nearly 30,000 people participated in a two-day strike at University of California hospitals across the state. Members of the second labor union, University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE), joined the two-day strike in solidarity.

At Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, more than 100 hospital employees lined Wilshire Boulevard and 16th Street during the two-day strike last May in an effort to increase staffing, update pension plans, and demand raises.

In September, AFSCME Local 3299 filed a complaint with the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and alleged representatives on behalf of the Regents of the University of California engaged in intimidation practices against hospital workers during the two-day strike in May.

Specifically, the complaint charged the Regents of the University of California with threatening “adverse action against employees for participating in a strike,” listing three scenarios where a UC representative allegedly singled out an employee to be terminated or reprimanded if they took part in the two-day walkout in May.

The Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center is a 267-bed facility located at 16th Street and Wilshire Boulevard.

Strike news update at UCLA
By UCLA Newsroom
November 20, 2013

An estimated 230 UCLA service employees represented by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) did not report to work on Wednesday. Among them are cooks and food service workers, landscaping crews and custodial staff. (Staff at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center are separate.)

To minimize the impact on campus operations, supervisors prioritized tasks, performed some duties and utilized temporary replacement workers.

In dining facilities operated by Housing and Hospital Services, meals were simplified. Four facilities representing about 30 percent of the operation were closed for the day: Bruin Plate, Feast at Rieber, Hedrick Test Kitchen and Café 1919.

Custodial service in on-campus housing was prioritized around the cleaning of restrooms and removal of refuse from living areas.

Cleaning priorities for other campus buildings were focused on the highest-demand classrooms, restrooms, libraries. UCLA attempted to provide some minimum amount of service to all buildings on Wednesday.

Landscaping crews focused on trash removal and key campus areas.

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