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UC System Workers Strike Over Safe Staffing Issues

Thousands of UC system hospital employees across the state took part in a one-day strike Wednesday.

Worker UC Strike Hospital

Thousands of UC system employees took part in a one-day strike on Wednesday Nov. 20, 2013. (Credit: KTLA)

Union representatives for nearly 22,000 University of California employees organized the one-day walkout over what they said were unsafe staffing issues.

Service workers, patient-care technical employees and “sympathy-striking” graduate teaching assistants were among those striking, according to AFSCME Local 3299, the UC system’s largest union.

“We feel we need additional staffing and the university says we’re fully staffed even though they add more patients on. We feel that in order to do the job correct, we need more staffing,” radiation therapist Ruben Gomez said.

Patient care was not affected during Wednesday’s strike, said Dr. Tom Rosenthal, UCLA’s chief medical officer.

The union was scheduled to go back to the bargaining table on Dec. 12.

“Whatever the issues are, the place to resolve them is at the bargaining table, not in the streets and not putting patients in the middle of it,” Rosenthal said.

The picketing was expected to continue at the nine UC campuses and five medical centers until 7 p.m.