SACRAMENTO -- State officials are set to ask a court on Tuesday to stop some University of California hospital employees from participating in a planned strike at UC's five medical centers.
The state Public Employment Relations Board is scheduled to seek a temporary restraining order against unionized patient care employees at a hearing in Sacramento Superior Court scheduled for 9 a.m. University officials say the labor board's request will focus on employees in critical health and safety roles.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 3299 has called on its more than 21,000 UC patient care workers to go on strike on Wednesday. The workers include radiation therapists, who help treat cancer patients, MRI technicians, technicians who sterilize equipment used in surgeries and pharmacy technicians who deliver medications to patients. The union called the strike in response to what it said was intimidation by UC management of employees who participated in a two-day walkout in May.
That strike came after the union's contract expired and negotiations over a new pact failed. The two sides are at odds over staffing, wages and benefits, including pensions and health care.
Dwaine Duckett, UC vice president for systemwide human resources, said in a statement that the union should return to the bargaining table and show "flexibility."
Some elective surgeries scheduled for Wednesday have been canceled, according to university officials. They say diagnoses and treatments may also be delayed because of delays in lab work and other tests.
UC secured an injunction during the May strike that prevented some employees from participating.
Nurses were going to participate in Wednesday's strike in solidarity with the patient care workers, but then reached a tentative contract deal with UC in which they rescinded their planned participation.