UCSF and Medical Center Continue Operations During Strike

July 14, 2008
About 230 picketers gathered outside UCSF Medical Center and campus sites on Monday for the first day of what is expected to be a five-day strike by members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union. These employees include custodians, food service workers, shuttle bus drivers, parking attendants, security guards, linen workers and truck drivers. AFSCME members in the patient care technical unit, including hospital assistants, anesthesia technicians, respiratory therapists, vocational nurses, hospital lab technicians, radiologic technologists, dental assistants, phlebotomists, patient dialysis technicians and pharmacy technicians, also joined the strike in sympathy with the service employees. UCSF has 3,254 employees in the AFSCME service and patient care technical bargaining units. Of these AFSCME employees, UCSF Medical Center employs 2,500 workers in these units. About 200 did not report to work. A campus report of AFSCME employees who reported for work is being compiled. To respond to the strike, UCSF has activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) on the Parnassus campus. The EOC comprises representatives from throughout the campus and medical center. “We hope that the University and the union can resolve these issues amicably and quickly," says Michael Adams, EOC director. “In the meantime, UCSF is responding to the situation with the goal of minimizing the impact on patient care, research, teaching and service." On July 11, the San Francisco Superior Court issued a restraining order prohibiting AFSCME from holding its announced five-day strike at UC campuses. The court order was granted at the request of the Public Employment Relations Board, the state agency responsible for overseeing collective bargaining for public sector employers, which also issued a complaint against AFSCME for bad faith bargaining and endangering public safety with the strike. Union leaders said on Friday that they intended to ignore the restraining order and would strike from July 14 through July 18. Most strike activities are expected to occur between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on the Parnassus campus. UC officials say that the strike is unlawful and in violation of the court order, and that all UC employees are expected to attend work as scheduled. Any employee, including any non-represented employee, scheduled to work from July 14 through July 18 who is absent from work on those days without authorization will face disciplinary action, including possible suspension, in accordance with local practice and the law. Information about the strike, including updated communications to UCSF employees, is posted on the UCSF Human Resources website. Employees who have any questions about the restraining order and the possible consequences of failing to report to work as scheduled should contact their supervisor or local human resources office immediately. Operations During the Strike Patient Care Services: All patient and essential support services are adequately covered, according to Sheila Antrum, chief nursing officer of UCSF Medical Center. Ambulatory care practices remain open. Police Services: UCSF Police and security guards will be present at most sites to assist in keeping the peace and maintaining safety. As of noon today, UCSF Police do not report any unlawful activities, according to UCSF Police Captain Jon Easterbrook. For emergencies, call 9-911, for non-emergencies, call 415/476-1414. Labor and Employee Relations: Regular Labor and Employee Relations activities will be suspended for the days of the strike. Campus analysts will be available at various locations. If an urgent circumstance arises regarding campus employees, call the officer of the day at 415/476-3905. For urgent issues regarding the medical center, call Judy Frates at 415/353-4017. Media Relations: All requests for interviews and information from press/media about the strike should be referred to UCSF News Services, a unit of Public Affairs, which is available 24 hours a day by calling 415/476-2557. Food Services: • Moffitt Café, located on the second floor of the UCSF Medical Center, will be closed today and Tuesday. The dining rooms will be open for those who bring in their own food throughout the strike. Moffitt Café will reopen on Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with limited food options, box meals and fountain beverages for sale. • Other eateries on the UCSF Parnassus campus remain open for business. These include the Millberry Union Food Court eateries, Palio Paninoteca, Subway, University Express, Courtyard Café and Starbucks. Other food options include local restaurants and vending machines. • The Mount Zion Café will remain open with normal operations. • The Pub at the UCSF Mission Bay campus at the Rutter Community Center will be closed on all strike days. • The View Café at UCSF Laurel Heights is open. UCSF Medical Center will provide one cold meal to staff members at the Parnassus campus. One meal will be provided per person per shift. The bag meals will be distributed from the Catering Department, located on the second floor by the public elevators. Day shift meals can be picked up from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Evening shift meals can be picked up from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Facilities: Essential operations will continue. Custodial, landscape and building maintenance services may be provided at a reduced level. Emergent service requests should be reported to Capital Programs and Facilities Management (CPFM) Customer Service Center at 476-2021. For more current information, please check the CPFM website . Transportation Services: The UCSF shuttle system is operating on a limited schedule with a third-party transportation firm. Revised routes, departure frequencies and service hours are available at the Transportation Services website. Among the major changes in the campus shuttle operations are: • No service to 16th St. BART will be available. • No express service on the YELLOW shuttle route. • No mail deliveries can be accepted on shuttles. • Some shuttle stops may be relocated. Parking: All parking lots will be open and accessible. Parking regulations will be enforced. Mail Services: Mail deliveries are expected to continue, but may be limited to "critical" functions or subject to possible suspension of service depending on strike participation and picket lines. Departments are encouraged to let Mail Services know if their mailstop “must" continue to receive mail or whether to hold mail until the strike is over. Distribution and Storage: Services – particularly those related to surplus, storage, and delivery of parcels and large equipment – may be impacted or suspended depending on strike participation and picket lines. Where possible, departments may want to consider scheduling delivery of packages/parcels after the strike as it is very possible that employees of outside delivery services will honor picket lines. Retail Services: The bookstores at the Parnassus and Mission Bay campuses, convenience store and Technology are all open for business. Service levels may be affected depending on strike participation. Child Care Services: There are no closures planned. Sufficient licensed child care personnel will be available to care for children during the day. UCSF Medical Center will provide one cold meal to staff members at the Parnassus campus. One meal will be provided per person per shift. The bag meals will be distributed from the Catering Department, located on the second floor by the public elevators. Day shift meals can be picked up from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Evening shift meals can be picked up from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.