UC medical workers strike over proposed pension cuts

May 21, 2013

strieUniversity of California medical workers began a two-day strike early Tuesday morning at hospitals across the state to protest proposed reductions to their pension plans. [KPCC]

The UC employees union, a chapter of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, began its walkout at 4 a.m. Tuesday from medical centers in San Diego, Orange, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, San Francisco and Sacramento. The strike prompted UC officials to postpone some surgeries and chemotherapy sessions for children.

The union, which represents 13,000 hospital pharmacists, nursing assistants, operating room scrubs and other health care workers, says it refuses to accept a proposal that would require more employee contributions by current workers and a second tier pension plan with reduced benefits for new hires. The proposal is similar to a plan accepted by other state workers.

Union officials also contend that the state should divert money away from executive pensions and direct it toward adding medical staffers.

“We care about our patients and we feel that we’re chronically understaffed and we need additional help,” Los Angeles radiation therapist Ruben Gomez told KCBS.

More than 2,000 workers are expected to walk out at UC facilities in Los Angeles and Santa Monica. Gomez said the strikers set up a task force to ensure that critically ill patients receive care.

On Monday, Sacramento County Superior Court Judge David Brown partially granted an injunction to stop the strike. Brown ordered 453 workers to remain on the job.

“There is reasonable cause to believe the strike would prevent delivery of an essential public service,” Brown said.


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This is just the beginning…These contracts should have been rewritten years ago. The employees know it and management knows it but the union leaders refuse to except it.

Government needs to get 100% out of the pension business.

The UC medical staff and technicians are already some of the highest paid in the medical field in America…and they want more! Fire the lot of them and put out recruiting notices to the other states, you will fill these jobs in no time at 60% of current pay.

A couple of days, big deal, soon the taxpayers will be on strike everyday. Actually many are unemployed as will be the case for many tax funded perks.

While I cannot tolerate unions in the public sector, in the private sector they should be allowed to thrive. Of course many will ultimately kill their host, and I am not surprised when the union leadership is more about their power than the people they represent (like any Marxist-based system is, really).

If we removed unions from the private sector, our workforce would soon be like that of China and Southeast Asia… just pump up the volume of people seeking a job, and offer the lowest pay and benefits (i.e. none) and there will be 10 people wanting that job for every 1 that knows it’s a dead-end / indentured servitude state.

This union, like the majority that exist today, only are around because they leech off the taxpayer. Funny how they despise corporations leeching off the tax payer, but cannot connect that they are leeching as well; no, theirs is earned and deserved… they are entitled to it.

We need to start pruning these leeches (public unions and corporate welfare recipients) from the public trough, less we just fully collapse our dollar and let ourselves starve, then revolt (which I hope is not “the plan” for the powers that be).

Then again, Reagan did fire all those air traffic controllers when they wanted to strike and put the public at risk. That sure got their attention, didn’t it?

Oh well, who cares about the sick patients as long as the union workers don’t have to tighten their belts like the rest of us. This is a typical union tactic, they always hit below the belt. I suffered through the miners strikes in the UK. They went on strike during the winter months when you really needed the coal to heat your home. Lot of elderly died during those months. I have no tolerance for any union. They cripple business, and hold a country to ransom

i heard one of the strikers interviewed on the radio. said he was striking for better benefits. great soundbite.

Why is it every Union thinks its unthinkable for THEM to have to endure cut backs? Everyone in the US has had to cut back one way or another. Striking is ridiculous. It’s all ok when someone else has to just not ME!! I mean How dare you want me to take an extra day off without pay. Or be consistent with the economy and slightly reduce my pension? I’ll just through myself on the ground kicking and screaming until my Momma comes out and says, “Ok,Ok, I’ll put you above every other person in this country.” Despite the fact the money just isn’t there. Let the people go without their chemo today. Of course they offer no other resolve than to take the cuts to someone else. This economy sucks for everyone people, get over it and move forward.

oops I meant ‘throw myself on the ground…’sorry, got a little excited while I was venting.

And in most cases the change is not to “reduce” their pension, simply to have them pay more into it and less paid by the taxpayers, and still they cry foul.

Are the strikers irreplaceable?

Everyone is going to have to give a little on this one. It’s really against basic economics to give someone something and then take it away. Basic economics also says that the state finances is a mess. We need to also look around for non-contributors who get unjustified freebies.

The whole system is set up to benefit “non-contributors who get unjustified freebies.”