UC Workers Begin 3-Day Strike

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Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

The AFSCME members, who represent about 15,000 vocational nurses, respiratory therapists and medical technologists as well as 9,000 janitors, cooks and security guards, are expected to be joined Tuesday on the picket line by members of the California Nurses Association and the University Professional and Technical Employees.

Strikers gathered at sunrise Monday on the 10 campuses throughout the state, including at UC Santa Cruz, wearing green T-shirts and carrying signs that call for "equality, fairness, respect".

They are a team, Chuu says, which is why she walked off her job Tuesday in support of those technicians and other members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 3299.

Castillo said she's striking because her office is understaffed and the UC has cut back the amount of overtime employees can work.

"This is just another example of UC trying to diminish the ability of workers to speak up and speak out", John de los Angeles, spokesman for the AFSCME Local 3299 told Sacremento Business Journal.

"So those are the kind of inequalities that we would like to be addressed", Donato said. "We got the power!" as they marched outside the hospital's emergency room. "I believe that we need to encourage and bolster our union spirit and ethos in our local politics and policy".

Gudz helped lead the group onto the streets to block traffic, and was telling people that "the street doesn't bite" when other participants would tell him to move to the sidewalk.

Campus officials say the strike could cause some problems for the university's hospitals, including postponed surgeries and disruptions to some services.

UC San Francisco spokeswoman Elizabeth Fernandez said Friday that UCSF Medical Center has rescheduled 300 surgeries and appointments for 800 cancer patients.

"They are actively seeking to hire contract workers in favor of directly employed workers simply because they are cheaper and that is driving inequality", de los Angeles said.

AFSCME has rejected the university's offer of 3 percent annual raises over four years, insisting on pay hikes of 6 percent a year.

"A disruptive demonstration will change neither UC's economic situation nor the university's position on AFSCME's unreasonable demands", Doan said about the strike.

Today is the second day of a three-day strike by workers at the University of California. The last time Casanova received a raise, he said, was more than a year ago - he still can not afford to pay rent and now lives with his parents, despite working full time on campus.

"We are definitely very sympathetic to the strike", Burawoy said, "and many of these students, of course, come from a similar sort of background as the workers who are going to be striking".

"Our contract is overdue", she said. The driver of the vehicle was taken into custody and transported to UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center for evaluation prior to being transported to the UCLA Police Department.

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