UCLA Health hospitals, clinics committed to patient care during strike

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Two unions representing UCLA Health employees say they plan to strike across the University of California system for 72 hours between Tuesday, October 23, and Friday, October 26.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) notified the University that its patient care technical employees will strike and that its service employees will strike in sympathy. Three units of the University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE) union say they also will participate in a sympathy strike.

“All UCLA Health hospitals and clinics will remain operational and will continue to provide safe, high-quality patient care,” Johnese Spisso, president of UCLA Health and CEO of the UCLA Hospital System, and Dr. Kelsey Martin, dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said in an email to employees.

“Detailed plans have been developed to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our patients and serve our community,” they said. “While we value the contributions of all employees and respect their rights, we are committed to maintaining access to the UCLA Health medical centers and clinics and continuing the research, training and education functions of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.”

UCLA Health is evaluating resources around the clock and strategically deploying staff and managers to ensure our highest priority – providing safe, high-quality care. Considerable steps are being taken to minimize disruptions. For example, temporary contract staff with extensive qualifications and experience have been retained and outpatient clinics are offering after-hours and weekend appointments.

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.

Striking Unions

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) notified the UC that patient care technical employees will strike from 4 am on Tuesday, October 23, to 3:59 am on Friday, October 26. Among these employees are medical assistants; perfusionists; phlebotomists; and emergency trauma and radiology technicians, among others. The union says its service employees will hold a sympathy strike during the same period. Service employees include custodians, security guards and food service workers.

University Professional & Technical Employees (UPTE) notified the UC that health care professional, research support professional and technical support professional employees will participate in a sympathy strike from 4 am on Tuesday, October 23, to 3:59 am on Friday, October 26. Among these employees 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.