University of California hospitals cancel surgeries, divert patients amid strike

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A strike by University of California patient care workers Tuesday caused the cancellation of hundreds of surgeries, the closure of laboratory stations and the diversion of emergency room patients, officials said.

The hospitals prepared for the two-day strike by postponing elective surgeries and hiring temporary workers, but services still were affected after thousands of employees took to the picket line at the medical centers in Los Angeles, Irvine, San Diego, San Francisco and Sacramento, where the UC Davis facility is located.

American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union leaders said they staged the strike because of concerns over staffing levels, pension changes and patient safety. UC officials defended their safety record and said they have offered a fair contract to union members. The two sides have been negotiating for nearly a year.

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