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Strike Could Affect Some Patients At UC Davis Medical Center

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Tens of thousands of UC employees across the state are planning on walking out of their jobs Monday. That includes employees at the UC Davis Medical Center.

Some medical staff at the med center will not be allowed to join the strike.

The decision follows a court order signed by a judge Friday, deeming it a threat to public safety, if essential staff were to walk out.

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The strike comes nearly a year of negotiations for higher wages.

A patient who is experiencing the effects of the looming strike first hand she says she fears medical staff will walk out on her.

"I need these people. If these nurses are not here then I don't get the help that I need," cried Mechelle Belcher.

Diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia as a child, Mechelle Belcher says pain management is crucial to her survival.

Belcher says her pain management appointment was pushed out because of Monday's planned strike, leaving her with no option but to seek emergency care.

"That does take people like me that are sick that have children, away from our kids," Belcher cried.

Now she worries her level of care over the next few days will suffer.

"We identified over 600 types of procedures we had to reschedule," said Toby Marsh, Chief Nursing Officer at the UC Davis Med Center.

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Marsh says hospital staff spent the past week coming up with a backup plan ahead of the strike.

"We have our nurse managers and other clinic managers on site, we have a number of staff here," Marsh added.

"This can all be boiled down to one word, inequality," said John De Los Angeles, spokesman for AFSCME 3299.

De Los Angeles says the issue at hand is gender, race and wage inequality. He says the walkout's mission is to shine a spotlight on the issue and get the UC system to come to a mutual resolution.

"Our workers have voluntarily assembled what we call a patient task force, and they will be ready to respond to emergency life-threatening situations," he added.

Belcher says she doesn't know what to expect over the next few days.

She's one of many patients in need, caught in the crosshairs of a battle that isn't hers to fight.

"I just hope they don't have to strike as long as they say it's gonna be so that we don't have to sit here and suffer," Belcher said.

Monday's strike will also impact security guards, food workers, custodians and bus drivers at UC campuses.

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