Sunday, December 1, 2019

Post-Strike News: Unsatisfied - Part 2

From the LA TimesMaria Torres loves her job. A surgical technologist at UCLA’s Santa Monica medical center, the 54-year-old mother of two makes sure operating rooms are sterile, protecting patients against wayward germs. She assists physicians as they repair hernias, operate on cataracts and fix injured knees. She comforts the fearful. She coaches medical students on how to scrub their hands. And, after 13 years on the job, Torres makes a decent wage: $29.72 an hour plus benefits. “It’s amazing to work at such a prestigious place,” she says. “When I got hired there, I was so proud.” 

So what was Torres doing on a November picket line, swinging a sign reading, “Inequality Hurts Patient Care,” and chanting, “Hey-hey, ho-ho, UC greed has got to go”?

The University of California is at war with its largest union, the 26,000-member Local 3299 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). November’s one-day strike, with picket lines at 10 UC campuses and five university hospitals across the state, was the sixth such angry walkout in the three years that the two sides have been fighting over a new contract.The issue is outsourcing: the sprawling university system’s use of workers from temporary help agencies and staffing firms to fill low- and middle-wage service and healthcare jobs...

Picketing workers shrugged off the university regents’ new [outsourcing] guidelines, saying UC has adopted policies in the past but individual campuses and hospitals routinely ignore them...

Full story at

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