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Picketers march at UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest

Picketers in front of UC Medical Center in Hillcrest want a living wage.
Photo credit:
10 News

Picketing began at approximately 5 am in Hillcrest on Tuesday morning as 12,000 statewide University of California administrative, clerical and support staff picket for a on-day walkout.

Both UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest and Thornton Hospital in La Jolla will take part in the protest according to NBC 7 and Teamsters Local 911.

The contention stems from union members accusing UC management for not bargaining in good faith and asks that the public reschedule lower-level medical appointments and steer clear of the 10 UC campuses and five medical centers within the state.

UC San Diego Health says their campuses and medical units will remain open, conducting business as usual.

Administrative assistants, collection representatives, childcare assistants and public safety dispatchers are among those protesting.

The strike is an action for wage increases. Locally, some workers say San Diego is too expensive and they need more money.

"There's thousands of us at UCSD that live Tijuana because we can't afford to live in San Diego they need to pay us enough to live in our own county," said Ruth Lopez, UC San Diego Financial Counselor to Fox 5.

Union officials cited an October report from Occidental College that said more than 70 percent of the workers suffer from hunger or "food insecurity."

Since negotiations are still being conducted, UC San Diego Health claims the strike is in violation of state law.   

They say in a statement, employees are being offered an 18-percent raise over six years, which is very competitive market rate.