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UCLA Health System statement in response to AFSCME strike announcement
Date: 05/08/2013
Contact: UCLA Health System
Tuesday, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union announced it is asking the UC patient care and service employees it represents at UCLA Health hospitals and clinics to strike.
 
It is very disappointing that AFSCME is threatening services to patients as a tactic in negotiations that are mainly about pension benefits — our patients are not bargaining chips.
 
The first priority at UCLA Health's hospitals is to provide patients with safe, high-quality care. In anticipation of a possible strike, UCLA Health staff has been meeting daily to make contingency plans so that it can continue to serve the public's health needs.
 
A strike by AFSCME patient care and service workers could possibly involve more than 4,000 UCLA Health and medical school employees, the majority of whom take care of patients and their families. They include patient care assistants, respiratory therapists, hospital lab and imaging technicians, custodians and food service workers. Patient care areas that would be impacted include Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, UCLA's Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital, the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, and UCLA's community and outpatient clinics.
 
The cost of bringing in replacement workers to provide medical care safely and effectively would be millions of dollars, and the strike would place an undue burden on our non-striking employees.
 
The dedication and hard work of employees at UCLA Health, including AFSCME members, allow us to provide the best patient care in the country. In return, UC provides competitive compensation and benefits.
 
To continue to provide world-class care and service, UC needs thoughtful engagement from the union leadership of AFSCME.