Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia hos­pi­tals dodge sec­ond pa­tient-care tech worker strike

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - — Rachel Lan­den

Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia hos­pi­tals nar­rowly avoided a re­cent strike af­ter univer­sity of­fi­cials reached a ten­ta­tive con­tract agree­ment with the union rep­re­sent­ing pa­tient-care tech­ni­cal work­ers.

Suc­cess­ful ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia and the Amer­i­can Fed­er­a­tion of State, County and Mu­nic­i­pal Em­ploy­ees, Lo­cal 3299, halted a planned five-day strike that would have af­fected all five UC med­i­cal cen­ters—Davis, San Fran­cisco, Irvine, Los Angeles and San Diego. It would have been the sec­ond strike in six months by AFSCME 3299, which rep­re­sented pa­tient-care tech­ni­cal work­ers al­leg­ing un­fair la­bor prac­tices. The group staged a one-day strike in Novem­ber.

The ten­ta­tive agree­ment, which cov­ers a four-year pe­riod and 13,000 work­ers—nurs­ing aides, phar­macy tech­ni­cians, re­s­pi­ra­tory ther­a­pists and oth­ers—in­cludes pay raises to­tal­ing 24.5% over four years, a freeze on health­care ben­e­fit rates for em­ploy­ees in lower salary tiers, an in­crease in em­ployee pen­sion con­tri­bu­tions, and additional pro­tec­tion against lay­offs. It is the re­sult of two years of ne­go­ti­a­tions, Dwaine Duck­ett, UC vice pres­i­dent of hu­man re­sources, said in a pre­pared state­ment that ac­knowl­edged “true com­pro­mise by both sides.”

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