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After Whistleblowers Expose Short Staffing, UCSF Medical Center Initiates Layoffs

With top UCSFMC Executive set to receive $300,000 bonus, AFSCME 3299 accuses UCSF “doubling down on misguided priorities” and Files Unfair Labor Practice Complaint

San Francisco: Last week, UCSF Medical Center—the University of California’s second most profitable hospital—began the process of cutting 300 jobs through a combination of layoffs, transfers and elimination of currently unfilled positions.  UCSFMC’s workforce reductions come in the wake of a damning new whistleblower report from UC Patient Care Technical Workers, alleging that chronic understaffing and other problems at UC Hospitals are undermining patient care.

Read the Full Report Here:

Among other things, the whistleblower report includes state watchdog findings of patient care deficiencies at UCSF ranging from hospital acquired bed sores[i], to an “immediate jeopardy” incident where a patient received the wrong medication[ii].  Both are noteworthy because UCSF targeted at least two job functions that would be in a position to affect these problems last week—eliminating its “Lift and Turn” teams, and laying off Pharmacy Technicians.
“Frontline care providers are seeing the human cost of unsafe staffing in UC Hospitals every day,” said Kathryn Lybarger, President of AFSCME 3299, which includes the 15,000 UC Patient Care and Hospital Workers who released the whistleblower report.  “Instead of taking action to fix the problem, UCSFMC is doubling down on the same misguided priorities that put both patients and providers at risk.”
Today, AFSCME 3299 is filing an Unfair Labor Practices Complaint with the California Public Employment Relations Board on the grounds that UCSFMC failed to comply with its legal obligation to confer in good faith with AFSCME about the workforce reductions.
While UCSFMC cuts its frontline care workforce, it is also moving forward on a $1.5 billion expansion project and has expanded its Medical Center management staff by 19% since 2009[iii].   During this same period, UCSF CEO Mark Laret’s pay has increased by almost $100/hour, to a total compensation package of nearly $1.2 million[iv].   Laret is also expected to receive a $300,000 bonus at the end of this year—equivalent to $1,000 for every job being eliminated at UCSF Medical Center.
“The day I was laid off was my eighth straight day of work with no breaks,” said Celina Andrade, A UCSF Pharmacy Technician and single mother of two who received a layoff notice last week.  “I know how desperately understaffed the pharmacy at UCSF is from first-hand experience.  Instead of subsidizing more executive bonuses, UCSFMC should be investing in frontline care that prioritizes patients and reduces the risk of a tragic mistake or worksite injury.   Sadly, it appears that UCSFMC Administrators are making a different choice.”

AFSCME 3299 is the largest collective bargaining unit within the University of California system, representing more than 22,000 Service and Patient Care Technical Workers at ten campuses and five Medical Centers.  Learn more at, or at  Read their new Patient Care Whistleblower Report at:

[i] California Health and Human Services Agency, Statement of Deficiencies . . . for UCSF Medical Center, December 1, 2008; April 6, 2009; May 4, 2010; June 24, 2010; October 11, 2010; January 20, 2011; February 23, 2011; March 16, 2011; March 21, 2011; and January 20, 2012.
[ii] California Health and Human Services Agency, Statement of Deficiencies . . . for UCSF Medical Center, January 18, 2011;
[iii] UC Office of the President, Corporate Personnel System Data from May 2009 and May 2012. Job titles reviewed include all SMG and MSP classifications, excluding physicians and dentists not in primary management roles.
[iv] UC Office of the President, Corporate Personnel System Data, May 2009 and May 2012.