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UC San Diego Medical Center Nurses Plan To Rally Amid Contract Talks

UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest is shown in this undated photo.

Credit: UC Medical Center

Above: UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest is shown in this undated photo.

UC San Diego Medical Center nurses plan to rally at two hospitals Thursday as part of actions across the state amid contract talks between the UC system and the union.

The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United plans to hold the picket and rally outside the hospitals to press their demands in the contract negotiation process regarding scheduling, retirement benefits and overtime policies, according to the union.

The rallies will be held at 10 a.m. at Thornton Hospital in La Jolla and at 12:30 p.m. at UC San Diego Medical Center in Hillcrest.

"We have been in bargaining with UC for over eight months with dozens of takeaways still on the table that affect our ability to best care for our patients and undermine our quality of life," said Maureen Berry, a nurse at UC Irvine. "As a public university, UC must respect and protect the patients and the communities we serve."

The union says that its proposals would involve scheduling registered nurses based on patient illness needs rather than budgetary goals, protect nurses from being deployed in areas in which they have no expertise, and maintain protection from mandatory overtime. The union represents 14,000 RNs at UC hospitals, medical centers and student health centers.

Demonstrations are also being held at UC Irvine Health Douglas Hospital, Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center and UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica and three others.

A UC San Diego health spokeswoman said that every one of its hospitals meets or exceeds the state's required nurse-to-patient staffing ratios.

"Patients can rest assured that all clinics and facilities at UC San Diego Health will be open during this labor activity," the spokeswoman said. "We will continue to provide excellent health care services without interruption."

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