Workers at a California hospital are demanding pay hikes and better benefits in the face of the collapse of the California state government.
Unions representing care workers at San Francisco General Hospital and the University of California, Berkeley, have joined a nationwide strike on Tuesday, calling for the state to pay for its health care costs.
The strike has been called off, however, with the hospital’s CEO and other top executives saying that the state cannot afford to pay staff at the two campuses for months of unpaid sick leave.
“We will continue to organize,” said Michael Hetzel, the hospital CEO, according to CNN.
“We will not give in to our employees’ demands.
We will not accept their demands.”
The hospital says the strike was due to a “continuing dispute” over a plan to privatize the hospital.
The two campuses are part of the state’s three-state Health Care Financing Authority, which was created by a ballot initiative in 2013.
The state has been under pressure to raise the state health care cost for years due to high healthcare costs, the healthcare crisis and the growing number of workers in the healthcare workforce.
Healthcare costs at the hospitals have ballooned in recent years, with staff salaries, benefits and benefits packages hitting a record $5,000 per year, according the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) said in September that it would have to cover the costs of care for a total of 4.5 million residents by 2021.
The union is calling for a $2,000 pay raise for its employees and a five percent pay increase for its management team.
The union is also calling for better access to care for patients, including increased access to mental health services, as well as more community outreach programs, according a statement from the union.
Unison Healthcare Workers Local 627, which represents workers at the three hospitals, said in a statement that its members “have taken a leadership position in demanding an increase in the salary of our members.”
The union also plans to hold a rally on Tuesday outside the state Capitol to “call for a statewide, statewide pay increase of $1,000 a year for care workers.”