University and hospital workers strike in Calif.

The strike includes workers in the AFSCME 3299 union, including dining hall and cleaning services employees.

strike

Photograph: Shutterstock

Healthcare and university workers from the University of California, including UC Los Angeles and UC Santa Barbara, went on a three-day strike Tuesday.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299, the UC’s largest employee union, is striking on campus until Thursday to protest the outsourcing of jobs. AFSCME represents more than 25,000 service workers and patient care technicians.

All four dining areas in UCLA’s residence halls will stay in operation, but four smaller locations serving to-go meals will be closed, according to the Los Angeles Times.

UCLA Health has hired temporary contract staff with “extensive qualifications and experience” to fill in while its staff is on strike, and outpatient clinics are offering after-hours and weekend appointments, according to the Los Angeles Times.

UC San Diego Health has trained about 270 replacement workers to step in during the strike and will continue to operate its regional burn center and emergency and trauma departments.

The strike stems from a battle between the union and the university that began last year, which ended at an impasse over disagreements regarding pay increases, healthcare premiums and outsourcing. AFSCME’s service workers held a three-day strike in May over similar issues.

The union is asking for a 6% annual raise per year plus additional payments over four years. UC is offering 3% plus a one-time payment of $750 after a contract is ratified. But the university is asking for a raise in healthcare premiums—a demand the union is rejecting.

 

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