WESTWOOD—Healthcare workers at the UCLA Medical Center along with workers at UC Irvine, UC Davis, UC San Diego, and UC San Francisco have begun striking, in part, because of increases to worker contributions for pension plans.
The impending picketing has caused anxiety since the striking union, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, represents approximately 13,000 employees, including: nursing assistants, operating room assistants, pharmacists, and scanning technicians. If all members picketed then these medical centers would be severely debilitated and unable to provide care to the many patients that need it.
As a result of the danger this strike posed to the public, Superior Court Judge David Brown ruled that an “imminent threat to public health or safety” would occur if all workers were allowed to strike. He therefore made a ruling that prevents certain workers from striking.
Included in the occupations that cannot strike are: nurses; ultrasound, MRI, X-Ray, and CT scan technicians, pharmacy technicians, and others.
Along with striking due to the increase in worker contribution to pensions, the union is demanding greater wages, and more staff.
UC officials have stated that the increase in worker contribution is not specific to UC medical workers. In fact, they say, the increase in worker contributions has been applied across the board to all UC workers, and that it is a necessary action in order to protect the pension system.
The strike is expected to cost the UC System $20 million dollars.
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