SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Thousands of UC medical workers returned to the picket lines in the Bay Area and across the state Wednesday, with union officials claiming that the University is trying to intimidate striking workers.
Wednesday’s action marked the fourth strike workers have held in the past year.
Strikers say University of California officials are using illegal tactics – including bribery and intimidation – instead of trying to negotiate a resolution to the issues.
AFSCME Local 3299 Executive Director Liz Perlman said the situation between UC and some union members has gotten so out of hand that they have been offered a pool party if they agreed to not go on strike again.
“Our members are saying, ‘We’re done. We’ve had enough,'” said Perlman.
More seriously, Perlman said things have gotten violent on the picket lines.
“They need to stop attacking, beating, bribing, and intimidating our members,” said Perlman
Back in February of last year, an African-American UC Berkeley employee was tackled and pushed to the ground by three UC police officers before being arrested.
It happened during what the union says was supposed to be a peaceful protest.
“They’re desperate. I think they’re arrogant. I think they show a real contempt for the people who do the work here,” said Perlman.
Sheila Antrum, Senior Vice President and COO pf UCSF Health says 200 replacement workers were brought in Wednesday to help take care of patients.
Hundreds of surgeries and clinical appointments have been canceled or rescheduled.
The last strike was just three weeks ago.
“The general tone is a sense of frustration and that we want this to end,” said Antrum. “It’s still a distraction and still a disruption.”
Income inequality and outsourcing jobs are still the main reason these workers and UC have been unable to reach an agreement.
The University sent KPIX 5 a statement that said quote, “UC has focused on reaching an agreement while AFSCME is intent on staging strikes. We have offered numerous competitive proposals, all of which union leaders have rejected without allowing a member vote.”