Patients say care still top notch at UCSF despite strike

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Hundreds of UC employees picketed into the evening hours, fighting for higher wages and better benefits.

Marleanne Legaspi has been at the UCSF Parnassus campus for 37 years. "Back in the day, we had better care. They cared about the workers. They treated the workers right," she said. "And now they're outsourcing our jobs and hiring unskilled workers."

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The University of California's largest union will go on strike for three days, affecting tens of thousands of patients and employees throughout California.

Patient care techs were picketing in solidarity with the service workers and on Tuesday, nurses are joining the three-day strike.

UCSF trained replacement workers but they also had to cancel 300 surgeries and more than 12,000 appointments and procedures this week.

"We're lucky," said Dimmy Badette, whose daughter gets bad headaches. He was relieved to get a text last week that her MRI was still on schedule.

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When asked if any signs of a strike were visible inside the hospital, Badette replied, "No. We didn't feel anything. Everything is still normal."

"They haven't missed a beat," said Tina Stromas, who has essentially been living at Mission Bay after her daughter had open heart surgery. She says the care this week was as good as it was in prior weeks. "There is nothing here that has changed. The floor that my daughter is on is well taken care of. Housekeeper taken care of, nursing staff taken care of."

It is still unclear how the strike will impact contract negotiations.

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