There are two parts to the ongoing dispute between the University of California and the system’s largest union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, Local 3299. Both our contract negotiations and the unfair labor practices that our members have faced at the workplace are linked by a single issue: safety.Full Story»
If you want to know what’s going on at the University of California’s taxpayer-subsidized hospitals, please do your own homework. You’ll find growing questions about patient safety and the system’s preparedness for the Affordable Care Act. You’ll see hundreds of thousands of dollars in government fines, dozens of routine safety violations, a million-dollar legal settlement stemming from patient neglect as well as a legislative audit of the system’s finances and staffing levels.
While Americans don’t seem to agree on much these days, there has been a growing public consensus on the issue of reforming public employee pensions.
Virtually no one thinks “public servants” should be receiving taxpayer-subsidized payouts as large as $300,000 per year for life when they are no longer working. That’s because the money must be diverted from critical health and welfare programs, classrooms and public hospitals.
This week, UC administrators have pushed an estimated 13,000 UC medical center patient-care workers, members of AFSCME 3299, into a two-day strike. It’s important to be clear on what this is all about: patient care.
As patients, we expect our hospital rooms, beds and operating tables to be clean and sanitized. We expect medical equipment that works and sufficient numbers of patient-care staff to be available when we call for help. We expect facilities to be safe and secure. And we expect to be treated just as well as any other patient.
More in this category
- Joining the Protest
- Ryan Nelson: UC should provide fairer compensation for workers
- UC funding fight continues
- The UC system’s modesty problem
- UC can do better