UCSF Prepares for One-Day Labor Strike on May 16

By Elizabeth Fernandez

UC San Francisco is preparing for a one-day unfair labor practice strike on Thursday, May 16 that is part of protracted ongoing contract discussions across the University of California system.

The strike is the fifth labor action impacting the UC system over the last 12 months.

The strike will occur from 12:00 a.m., Thursday, May 16, through 11:59 p.m.

The UC system was notified on May 3 of the strike by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union for its Service and Patient Care Technical Units (SX and EX), and from the University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) union for its Health Care Professionals, Research Support Professionals, and Technical Units (HX, RX and TX).

The UC Office of the President is responsible for conducting negotiations with the unions on behalf of the UC system.
At UCSF, the striking units represent approximately 7,400 employees, including the UCSF campus and health system, as well as employees at UCSF’s partner, Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (ZSFG).

Most of the picketing activity is expected to occur on the UCSF Mission Bay campus, where the UC Board of Regents has a scheduled meeting at the Mission Bay Conference Center. Members of the community are advised to avoid the area during the one-day strike if possible.

UCSF leaders continued to express hope for a resolution to all open labor contracts.

“As we have stated in advance of previous strikes, we respect our employees’ rights to representation and freedom of speech,” said UCSF Chancellor Sam Hawgood, MBBS, and UCSF Health CEO Mark Laret in a joint letter to the community.

“Labor actions make a significant impact on the lives of our patients and their families,” they noted. “During last month’s strike, hundreds of appointments, including cancer infusion treatments and selected surgeries, were rescheduled. In addition, strikes create very real tensions among colleagues.”

Striking employees work in many positions such as respiratory therapists, pharmacists, patient care assistants, operating room support assistants, pharmacy and hospital lab technicians, social workers, counseling psychologists, nuclear medicine technologists and other health care, research support and technical employees who are integral to the well-being and care of patients and their families. Striking workers also work as shuttle drivers, custodians, food service workers and security officers.

As always, UCSF’s top priority is to ensure the safety and security of the entire UCSF community, including patients and visitors.

UCSF is working to minimize the impact of the strike and doing everything possible to prioritize care for those who need it most. Still, disruptions are expected to some services.  

Most eateries at the Parnassus Heights and Mission Bay campuses will be open, except for the Pub in the Rutter Center at Mission Bay.

Transportation Services will operate a limited shuttle schedule that includes changes to some pick up and drop off times. While some shuttle service disruptions are expected, shuttle locations will remain the same.