UCSF Workers Protest Outsourcing

Friday, May 10, 2019

UCSF is once again set to go on strike this week. The one-day walkout happening Thursday, May 16 includes members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union for its Service and Patient Care Technical Units (SX and EX) and of the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) union for its Health Care Professionals, Research Support Professionals, and Technical Units (HX, RX, and TX).

Most of the strike picketing is anticipated at the Mission Bay campus to coincide with the UC Board of Regents' meeting at the Mission Bay Conference Center.

AFSCME local 3299, which represents 25,000 patient care and service workers at the university’s 10 campuses and five hospitals, has called the strike “Service and Patient Care workers’ Unfair Labor Practice strike.”

The union states that the University of California’s efforts to outsource frontline jobs violates California law.

Last month, the AFSCME filed three separate Unfair Labor Practice charges demanding that UC cease its “ever-widening efforts to replace career employees with low wage outsourcing companies.”

“These latest charges highlight the scope of the University’s increasingly radical privatization scheme, which is ultimately focused on one thing—paying its lowest wage workers even less,” said AFSCME 3299 President Kathryn Lybarger in a press release.

This will be the third such strike this year.

A joint statement by UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood and UCSF Health President and CEO Mark Laret reiterates the university leaderships’ “respect [for] employees’ rights to representation and freedom of speech,” while also repeating concerns issued during previous strikes.

“Labor actions make a significant impact on the lives of our patients and their families,” read the statement. “During last month’s strike, hundreds of appointments, including cancer infusion treatments, and selected surgeries were rescheduled. In addition, strikes create very real tensions among colleagues.”

Disruptions to services were expected at UCSF Health, the UCSF Dental Center, and by UCSF employees at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center, according to the statement.