Thousands of UC Medical workers were off the job and on the picket lines again Tuesday during the second day of a three-day system-wide walkout.
Strikers say it’s a matter of equality – particularly when it comes to pay.
“Service workers, primarily women and people of color, are getting paid barely a living wage, if that,” said AFSCME’s Steve Smith. “At the same time, we’re seeing UC executives getting record compensation packages.”
The number of those on the picket lines is growing. AFSCME strikers were joined Tuesday by members of the University Professional and Technical Employees Union and the California Nurses Association.
“As an oncology nurse, when I’m seeing somebody vomiting on the floor, I need somebody to help me clean it up,” said Melissa Johnson-Camacho. “I need somebody who’s going to work with dietary to help make sure the food trays come and the right things come to my patients. For that, we’re out here for our patients and for our UC family.”
Among AFSCME’s requests is a six percent pay raise for each of the next three years – ultimately totaling 19.1%. UC officials call that unreasonable.
Even while dozens of UC-Davis employees joined thousands of their counterparts on the picket lines Tuesday, UC Davis officials say 69% of their union workers showed up for work.