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Yee, Avalos, Mar & Other Leaders To Join UC Workers at Thursday Protest of UCSF Layoffs

April 3, 2013

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 3, 2013

CONTACT: Todd Stenhouse, tstenhouse@afscme3299.org, (916) 397-1131

Yee, Avalos, Mar & Other Leaders To Join UC Workers at Thursday Protest of UCSF Layoffs

San Francisco: On Thursday, April 4th, State Senator Leland Yee, Supervisor John Avalos and Supervisor Eric Mar will join labor leaders, patients, and hospital workers to highlight growing concerns about the UC Medical system and to protest the recent elimination of 300 jobs at UCSF Medical Center.   The protest will take place at UCSF’s Parnassus Campus.

Who:   Elected Leaders, UC Workers, Patients and other Civic Leaders, including:
 

  • State Senator Leland Yee
  • San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos
  • San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar
  • Tim Paulson, Executive Director, San Francisco Labor Council
  • Gabriel Haaland, National Co-Vice President, Pride at Work
  • Patients and Laid off workers from UCSF Medical Center
  • Representatives of AFSCME Local 3299, UPTE-CWA Local 9119, and the California Nurses  Association

What:  Rally and Protest of UCSF Medical Center Layoffs
Where:  UCSF Parnassus Campus, 505 Parnassus Ave.
When:  Thursday, April 4, 2013, 11:15 a.m.—1:00 p.m.

“Both at UCSF, and across the UC Medical system, misguided management priorities are putting providers at risk and degrading the quality of patient care,” said AFSCME 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger.   “That’s why we are coming together to demand safe staffing for UC patients, and basic fairness to the frontline care workers who devote their lives to our families, friends, and communities.” 

 

The event comes on the 45th Anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King Jr., who was killed in 1968 while supporting striking AFSCME workers.

BACKGROUND:
 
Last month, UC Patient Care Technical Workers released a blistering new whistleblower report exposing chronic understaffing and other deficiencies across a $6.9 billion UC Medical system that is expected to have hundreds of thousands of new customers by the start of next year.  The report documented problems ranging from preventable infections and skyrocketing executive pay, to under-sanitized facilities and a growing number of state health watchdog reports that have cited UC medical facilities—including UCSFMC–for putting patients at risk. 

Read the Report Here: https://afscme3299.org/putpatientsfirst

Within days of the report’s release, UCSFMC—the second most profitable hospital in the UC System–announced that it would eliminate 300 jobs, including many frontline patient care positions. 

Despite these cuts and being forced to ration respiratory care in January 2013 due to inadequate staffing levels[i], UCSFMC has increased its management staff by 19% since 2009—at an annual cost of $16 million.[ii]  UCSFMC CEO Mark Laret is expected to receive at least $1.2 million this year, including a $300,000 retention bonus[iii]. Laret also signed a 2010 letter from 36 of the UC’s highest paid executives demanding millions of dollars in additional pension benefits.[iv]  As it is, Laret is expected to earn a lifetime pension payout of more than $4 million, plus a supplemental benefit.[v]  
Last week, the UC Regents settled a 2008 federal whistleblower lawsuit charging billing fraud and patient neglect at UC Irvine Medical Center—where Laret once served as CEO– for $1.2 million.[vi]

[i] In a memo circulated in January 2013 to all patient care areas at UCSF Medical Center from Respiratory Care Service, it was announced that the hospital was experiencing a high volume of respiratory care procedures relative to the number of available staff. (UCSF Medical Center, Respiratory Care Service, Notice RE: Respiratory Care of Patients in Your Area, obtained January 16, 2013.) As a result, respiratory therapy services outside of critical care units were being prioritized.
[ii] UC Office of the President, Corporate Personnel System Data, May 2009 and May 2012. Job titles reviewed include all SMG and MSP classifications, excluding physicians and dentists not in primary management roles.
[iii] Committee on Compensation, Regents of the University of California, C Report, “Individual Compensation Actions, Preemptive Retention Salary Adjustment and Total Compensation for Mark Laret as Chief Executive Officer, Medical Center, San Francisco Campus,” July 14, 2011
[iv] http://www.sfgate.com/education/article/Highest-paid-UC-execs-demand-millions-in-benefits-2517829.php
[v] CEO Laret’s pension earnings are capped at $375,000 since he was hired within the University of California system before 1994.  If he were to retire today, his annual pension payout would be $187,500.  Based on mortality rates for a typical 60-year old white collar male, his pension payout is anticipated to be approx. $4 million after he retires.
[vi]  http://www.latimes.com/health/la-me-uci-medical-20130328,0,965580.story

Last modified: April 3, 2013

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