Healthcare Workers Strike at Five California Hospitals

They say it's over staffing, but management says it's over pension contributions


Thousands of healthcare workers walked off the job at the University of California's five medical centers on Tuesday, delaying surgeries, diagnostic procedures, treatments and emergency care throughout the state.

The union representing nearly 13,000 vocational nurses, respiratory therapists and radiology technologists said they staged the strike—scheduled to last two days—to draw attention to staffing shortages that they say undermine patient care at the hospitals in San Francisco, Davis, Los Angeles, San Diego and Irvine.

Some of the public hospital system's estimated 3,400 pharmacists, social workers, psychologists, occupational therapists and lab scientists also walked out on Tuesday in a one-day sympathy strike at the five medical centers.