Dwaine Duckett, vice president of UC human resources, issued the following statement today (March 14) regarding AFSCME’s announcement that it will ask patient care technical employees to participate in a five-day strike March 24-29, 2014:

Unfortunately, perpetuating conflict by threatening patient care at our medical centers has become a recurring bargaining tactic for AFSCME leaders. This is patently unfair to the people we serve and our other dedicated hospital workers. Our patients are not bargaining chips, and strikes are disruptive to the entire medical center community.
Despite this latest move by union leaders, we remain steadfast in our commitment to achieving a fair contract for our employees and bringing these negotiations to a close as quickly as possible. In fact, we are back at the bargaining table with AFSCME today, working hard to settle this contract. We call on AFSCME leadership to do likewise.
It is time to end this cycle of conflict, and conclude these negotiations which have dragged on for far too long.  Our employees deserve to receive the raises and good benefits we are offering without further delay.