UCSF Prepares for November 13 Labor Action

UC San Francisco has received notice that the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) will hold a one-day strike at UCSF on Nov. 13, 2019, as part of a systemwide labor action across the University of California campuses.

The strike will include members of AFSCME Service (SX) and Patient Care Technical (EX) bargaining units, which together represent approximately 4,370 employees on the UCSF campus, in UCSF Health’s hospitals and clinics and Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

“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. “At UCSF, we also have a responsibility to serve the health care needs of our patients, as well as the needs of others who rely on us for services supporting our research and education activities.”

To prepare for the labor action, UCSF Health is taking steps to reschedule non-essential appointments and identify trained replacement workers to help minimize the effect the strike will have on the patients who look to UCSF for their care. As always, UCSF’s highest priority is ensuring the safety and security of its patients and the UCSF community.

In addition, UCSF is adjusting shuttle schedules, operating hours for eateries and other services to limit disruptions for its faculty, staff and students during the one-day strike.

AFSCME-represented employees work across a range of important roles at UCSF, including respiratory therapists, patient care assistants, operating room support assistants, pharmacy and hospital lab technicians, shuttle drivers, custodians, food service workers and security officers.

“We recognize that strikes create hardships for our union-represented colleagues, as well,” said the UCSF leaders in the letter. “We ask everyone to remember that we could not deliver on our mission without the contributions of our AFSCME-represented colleagues, as well as the rest of our valued and dedicated team, whether they are union-represented or not.”

AFSCME is the only statewide staff union still working in the UC system without a contract for the employees it represents. The UC Office of the President, which handles all labor negotiations on behalf of the UC system, and AFSCME union leaders have been trying to reach a resolution since the AFSCME Service and Patient Care Technical bargaining units’ contracts expired in June 2017 and December 2017, respectively. This will be the sixth AFSCME strike to take place since negotiations began.

The UCSF leaders said they hope that UC and the AFSCME union will be able to reach a fair and equitable agreement soon.