Thousands of medical workers join broader 3-day strike over pay

Thousands of California university workers strike for higher pay

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AFSCME Local 3299 spokesperson John De Los Angeles said the Regents of the University of California sought to block 700 employees from going on strike.

The group chanted "Who has the power?"

Workers voted to authorize a strike with 97 in support, states the union.

"It's important for our future", Stephney said of the strike.

AFSCME Local 3299 also authorized sympathy strikes this week, including its represented patient care workers, UC system nurses represented by the California Nurses Association, and technical workers represented by the University Professional and Technical Employees, according to the union.

The UC's largest employee union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, is organizing the walkout. So it is expected to disrupt thousands of surgeries and other appointments.

The strength of mass action is the antidote to the fear that every employer tries to use to keep workers in their place.

The UCSF emergency room and clinics will remain open as the university will have temporary staff during this three-day strike. "Take care of your people, and then you can talk about patient care", said senior custodian, William Bennett.

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The goal he says, is that all patients continue to receive high quality care at UC Davis Medical Center.

Negotiations between the union and the university system stalled a year ago and reached a final impasse last month when university representatives offered a unilateral 3 percent pay increase.

The union rejected the move and responded by issuing a notice of a strike set to last until Wednesday. "There's huge inequality. They're bringing in people to do our jobs who aren't trained for it, aren't educated for it, and in the same respect, they definitely aren't getting paid what we get paid". Outsourcing only exacerbates racial inequalities.

University of California at Santa Cruz officials said as of 6:13 a.m. demonstrators had blocked both entrances and classes before noon were canceled except for online classes and classes in which the instructor made other arrangements. Shuttle services were not operating due the strike, and Metro buses did not cross the picket lines onto campus. "We have over 5,000 employees that make more than the governor while the majority of our AFSCME workers qualify for some form of financial assistance".

Goff has worked at UCSF as a custodian for 13 years and Fisher has worked as a custodian for 11 years.

"We're fighting for our economic rights", Aguirre said. They make about $23 an hour. We're asking for equality in salaries. "It's just ridiculous", Fisher said.

"I don't really know the nitty gritty details of what they're protesting about". It's hard. They take care of their doctors.

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