Employees Could Find Less Financial Support

    There are only so many times you can inflate administrative
    wages while brushing off the fundamental needs of employees before the “we’re
    trying to compromise” line loses its spunk, and the “best in the West” mantra
    becomes a deranged mockery of workers who can’t afford their monthly parking
    fees. Negotiations press on this month between the University of California
    and two different unions: the California Nurses Association and the American
    Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The CNA dispute is marked
    by a Paid Time Off program that would encourage nurses to show up to work sick,
    mandatory shift rotations that would contort fragile sleep schedules and
    staggering wage disparities that would mean less compensation for the longest
    standing veterans than for fresh college grads. CNA and the university have
    moved on to the fact-finding step in their mediation process, but the facts
    have already been found and they speak for themselves.

    AFSCME representatives fail to understand why recruitment
    and retention of patient-care technical employees aren’t higher university
    priorities, considering new technicians and nurse’s assistants have no choice
    but to turn to co-workers for on-the-job training. In addition, the price of
    employee health care is steadily rising, so the prospect of wellness is a
    stretch even for those who provide the care.

    Few are so cynical as to accuse the university of
    deliberately imperiling its employees or perpetuating a high turnover rate, but
    as one licensed vocational nurse asked: Is there really a single reason to
    remain a UC medical employee? It seems amid its insular bureaucratic games, the
    university has neglected this question altogether.

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