LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Tens of thousands of University of California workers plan on a three-day strike, starting tomorrow.
For the next three days, some surgeries at Ronald Reagan UCLA may be rescheduled. That’s because many of the hospital’s workers are joining tens of thousands of other UC system employees on the picket lines.
Students on the Westwood campus told KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo they don’t expect much of a disruption
“Everyone wants more money and if they can get it, more power to them,” says student Eric Auld.
AFSCME the union representing the UC’s service and patient care workers is hoping the three-day strike will force administrators back to the bargaining table after the UC system announced it would impose a contract with a two percent annual raise
The union wants six percent, a continued retirement age of 60 as well other concessions spurred on by a study showing a large pay gap for female and minority employees.
“What this is about for workers can be boiled down to one word which is inequality, both in respect to income, race and gender,” says John De Los Angeles, of AFSCME.
And other unions are backing them up on the picket lines.
In all, 24,000 of those walking out are patient care and service workers like nurses and food service workers — 14,000 are nurses and 15,000 health care, research and technical workers.
In a statement from UC spokesperson:
“AFSCME leaders are demanding a nearly 20 percent pay raise over three years – twice what other UC employees have received. The university cannot justify to taxpayers such an excessive raise, no matter how much we appreciate our service workers…”
The union says they want to make sure patients get the ultimate care and said they would leave the picket lines in emergencies.