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UC, Union Reach Contract Deal To Avert Patient Care Workers Strike

March 24, 2014

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On Sunday, the University of California reached a tentative contract agreement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299 union, avoiding a planned five-day strike at UC hospitals, the Los Angeles Times‘ “L.A. Now” reports (Gordon, “L.A. Now,” Los Angeles Times, 3/23).

Background on Planned Strike

On March 13, 13,000 UC patient care technical workers voted to approve a five-day strike from March 24 through March 28. The workers are represented by AFSCME Local 3299.

The approval came in response to alleged unfair labor practices.

Forty-nine patient care technical workers would have been exempted by the union to provide urgent medical care during the strike (California Healthline, 3/17).

Details of Contract

According to UC officials, the tentative agreement includes:

  • Across-the-board and step wage increases totaling 24.5%;
  • A ratification bonus;
  • Health rate freezes for lower-salaried employees; and
  • Revised language on layoffs.

The contract also includes pension reform, which was a priority for UC, officials said (Burgarino, Contra Costa Times, 3/23).

Reaction

In a statement, AFSCME 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger said the four-year contract “reflects compromise on both sides, improves safety in UC hospitals and honors the important contributions that patient care technical workers make to the UC health system every day.”

Meanwhile, UC spokesperson Dianne Klein called the contract “fair and fiscally sustainable,” adding that both the university system and the union “made significant compromises” in the agreement.

A vote to ratify the tentative contract will be held this week (“L.A. Now,” Los Angeles Times, 3/23).

Broadcast Coverage

On Sunday, KPCC’s “KPCC News” reported on the tentative contract agreement (Bailey, “KPCC News,” KPCC, 3/23).

[Source]: California Healthline

Last modified: March 25, 2014

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