Sunday, August 14, 2016

How (not) to win friends and influence people

University of California regents have boosted the annual pay of UCSF Medical Center’s chief executive past the $1 million mark, a move criticized by advocates for janitors who became embroiled in a labor dispute with the hospital after their pay was cut nearly in half. At their health committee meeting Thursday, the regents awarded Mark Laret a 5 percent pay hike, a $50,000 increase that raised his base salary to $1,041,543. Through other allowances and awards, Laret earned $1.2 million in 2015 and $1.6 million in 2014.

That did not include the $556,000 a year that Laret earns on average by serving on the boards of two vendors that sell products to UCSF.

“You’d think that an institution like UCSF would have a sensitivity to those issues,” said San Francisco Supervisor Norman Yee, who in February supported the supervisors’ resolution calling on UCSF to “rectify serious breaches of workers’ rights” in the janitors dispute.

In March, the state Public Employment Relations Board filed a complaint against the university, accusing it of retaliating against 24 janitors who picketed UCSF in 2014. The hospital had moved their jobs to a third-party contractor that cut their pay by about $8 an hour to the minimum wage of $10.74.

On Friday, the hospital agreed to offer jobs back to 22 of the janitors, but only on probationary status, Yee said.

Yee noted that some of the janitors had been UCSF employees for decades. “I don’t think UCSF has any inkling of what social justice means, and you can’t separate the regents from UCSF,” said Yee, who visited UCSF last week with Board of Supervisors President London Breed to urge Chancellor Sam Hawgood to drop the probation requirement...

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