UC Irvine Health Workers to Picket Job Losses as Profits are Said to Soar

Carolyn Jones Productions

Claiming that their jobs are being eliminated even though profits are up and the facility is understaffed, health workers, students and worker union supporters plan to rally and picket at UC Irvine Medical Center today.

Pickets are scheduled to be up from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.—with the rally from noon-1 p.m.—at the medical center, 101 The City Drive South, Orange.

Among those scheduled to appear are: Kathryn Lybarger, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 3299; Monica De Leon, vice president of UC Patient Care Technical Unit; Julio Perez, executive director of Orange County Labor Federation; and Taylor Chanes, external vice president for UC Student Association out of UCI.

“For a public, tax-exempt medical system to put profits before patient care—particularly at a time of chronic understaffing and rising need from patients—is both appalling and dangerous,” says Lybarger in the rally organizers' announcement. “UCI Health needs to get its priorities straight and put these experienced caregivers back to work.”

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Lybarger and other UC Healthcare workers have expressed concern about dramatic growth in UCI Health’s management staff, which they claim grew at four times the rate of frontline care professionals between 2010 and 2014.

And while UCI does have job openings, it has made no effort to place its newly displaced workers into jobs for which they are qualified, the workers allege.

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