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University of California hospitals avoid strike by 13,000 workers


By Rachel Landen
Posted: March 31, 2014 - 1:15 pm ET
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University of California hospitals narrowly avoided a strike last week after university officials reached a tentative contract agreement with the union representing patient-care technical workers.

Successful negotiations between the University of California and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 3299, halted a planned five-day strike that would have affected all five UC medical centers—Davis, San Francisco, Irvine, Los Angeles and San Diego. It would have been the second strike in six months by AFSCME 3299, which represented patient care technical workers alleging unfair labor practices. The group staged a one-day strike in November.

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The tentative agreement, which covers a four-year period and 13,000 workers—nursing aides, pharmacy techs, respiratory therapists and others—includes raises totaling 24.5% over the four years, a freeze on healthcare benefit rates for employees in lower salary tiers, an increase in employee pension contributions, and additional protection against layoffs. It is the result of two years of negotiations, Dwayne Duckett, UC vice president for human resources, said in a prepared statement that acknowledged “true compromise by both sides.”

Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden


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