UC hospital workers stage 1-day strike

Associated Press Updated: November 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm • Published: November 20, 2013 0

LOS ANGELES (AP) — University of California hospital employees picketed Wednesday at medical centers across the state in response to what union leaders called intimidation and harassment from management against workers who took part in a two-day walkout in May.

Local 3299 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees launched the one-day strike at university system hospitals in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Davis, Irvine and San Diego. The union represents more than 21,000 UC patient care and service employees.

Hospital workers who walked off the job included radiation therapists, MRI technicians and pharmacy technicians.

The May strike came after the union's contract expired and negotiations over a new deal failed. The two sides are at loggerheads over staffing, wages and benefits, including pensions and health care.

Some elective surgeries scheduled for Wednesday were canceled. Certain lab tests and diagnoses will be delayed because technicians won't be around to complete the work, university officials said.

The affected medical centers have contingency plans to ensure that patients get the care they need, system spokeswoman Shelly Meron said.

On Tuesday, a judge granted an injunction that kept about 50 critical care workers from participating. Union officials said they had agreed before the injunction was issued to keep those employees off the picket lines.

Nurses had planned to strike in solidarity with the patient care workers but rescinded their participation after reaching a tentative labor agreement over the weekend that included annual 4 percent pay increases through 2017.

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