Two unions representing UCLA Health employees say they plan to strike across the University of California system for 24 hours starting at 4 am on Wednesday, March 20.
The University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE) union notified the University that research and technical support employees will strike and that health care professional employees will strike in sympathy. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union is asking its patient care technical employees and service employees to strike in sympathy.
All medical centers, clinics, and research and educational facilities will remain open and operational.
"Detailed plans are in place to minimize disruptions and ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our patients, students, trainees and community," said Johnese Spisso, MPA, president of UCLA Health and CEO of the UCLA Hospital System, and Kelsey Martin, MD, PhD, dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, in an email to all employees. "Above all, we will work together to deliver on our shared mission – providing the highest level of clinical care, research and education to those we serve."
UCLA Health is evaluating resources and strategically deploying staff and managers to ensure the highest priority – providing safe, high-quality care. Prior to the strike, UCLA Health retained temporary contract staff with extensive qualifications and experience. A limited number of outpatient and elective procedures – such as diagnostic imaging – were re-scheduled for times either before or after the strike.
Contracts with the labor unions are negotiated by the University of California (UC) Office of the President on behalf of UCLA and other UC campuses.
University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE)
Among the members of this union are clinical lab scientists; pharmacists; physician assistants; clinical social workers; speech pathologists; occupational and physical therapists; research lab assistants; and various staff research associate positions.
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
Among members of this union are medical assistants; perfusionists; phlebotomists; and emergency trauma and radiology technicians, among others. AFSCME service employees include custodians, security guards and food service workers.