UCSD support staff stage one-day walkout - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

UCSD support staff stage one-day walkout

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) - Around 12,000 University of California administrative, clerical and support staff in San Diego and throughout the state staged a one-day walkout Tuesday.

Picketing started around 5:30 a.m., at UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest and Thornton Hospital in La Jolla, according to the Teamsters Local 911.

Ruth Lopez and Marissa Johnston, both grandmothers, say they need an increase in pay in order to live in San Diego. 

"There's thousands of us at UCSD that live Tijuana because we can't afford to live in San Diego they need to pay us enough to live in our own county," Ruth Lopez, UC San Diego Financial Counselor.

"It's very important to me because I live paycheck to paycheck. Walking out could show University of California that I need more to survive out there," Marissa Johnston, UC San Diego Administrative Assistant.

CBS News 8's Gene Kang interviews University of California staff members as they walk off the job over wages Tuesday morning at UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest and Thornton Hospital in La Jolla.

The union, which contends that UC management is not bargaining in good faith, encouraged the public to reschedule nonessential medical appointments and to avoid the 10 UC campuses and five medical centers around the state.
   
According to UC San Diego Health, the campus and medical facilities will remain open and arrangements have been made to continue operations. Below is their statement regarding the Teamsters’ planned UC System-wide Strike:


 
The University of California is still bargaining with the Teamsters, and under California law, while negotiations continue, a strike is presumed to be unlawful. A strike is also counterproductive to negotiations.
 
The University of California is offering clerical employees guaranteed, market-competitive wage increases, good benefits and stability. UC’s offer carries an average pay raise of 18 percent over the next six years as well as excellent health care benefits and retirement options, including a traditional pension plan that very few other employers offer.
 
UC clerical employees earn an annual average salary of $47,300 — more than the state average of roughly $39,200 for clerical workers. These UC employees typically pay just $384 a year for health insurance for themselves and their children. By comparison, the average American worker typically pays over $5,200 for less generous health coverage — and that’s just for themselves.
 
The proposed wage increases ensure that pay for clerical staff stays market-competitive, and they are consistent with increases given to other UC represented and non-represented employees.
 
We believe our proposals fairly recognize the skills and contributions of our clerical staff. We urge Teamsters leadership to finalize a new contract without further delay.
 
Should a strike occur on January 10, the UC San Diego campus and all medical facilities will remain open as usual.
 
UC San Diego Health’s first priority is to provide patients with safe, high-quality medical care. In anticipation of a strike, the UC San Diego campus and UC San Diego Health have developed contingency plans to ensure that all medical facilities and clinics remain open and fully operational during normal business hours. UC San Diego Health will continue to serve the needs of the community.
   

Administrative assistants, collection representatives, childcare assistants and public safety dispatchers are among those expected to take part in the job action.
   
Union officials cited an October report from Occidental College that said more than 70 percent of the workers suffer from hunger or "food insecurity.''
   
UC San Diego Health said a strike would be a violation of state law since negotiations are continuing. The employees are being offered an average 18 percent raise over six years, which is competitive in the market, the statement said.

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