Strike by UCLA Hospital Workers Averted

Marathon talks this weekend produced a new tentative contract.

Patient care technical workers will not walk of the job Monday at UCLA Medical Center. Patch file photo.
Patient care technical workers will not walk of the job Monday at UCLA Medical Center. Patch file photo.

A potential strike by 13,000 workers at UC hospitals statewide has been averted, as marathon contract talks over the weekend produced a new tentative contract today.

Hospitals at UCLA, UC Irvine and UC San Diego, among others, had been preparing for a walkout by patient care technical workers. 

The proposed four-year contract was hailed as offering "fair wage increases, secure benefits and staffing protections, as well as the University's top priority if pension reform," according to a union statement.

Patient care technical workers perform MRIs and similar procedures, and had voted overwhelmingly to authorize the strike, according to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 3299. That was prompted by UC's decision last summer to impose new contract terms that included '"sweeping new layoff powers," according to a union official.

Picket lines were planned to go up at 7 a.m. Monday, and hospital officials were planning to use other workers and administrators to keep the doors open. Many UC hospitals in California operate insurance plans and also provide general hospital services under contracts with counties, in addition to teaching duties.

"This proposed agreement reflects compromise on both sides, improves safety in UC hospitals, and honors the important contributions to patient care technical workers," said Kathryn Lybarger, president of the AFSCME Local 3299.

No UC spokesperson was immediately available for comment.

--City News Service


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