January 26, 2015
Doctors at all 10 student health centers at the University of California will conduct a one-day strike on Tuesday, Jan. 27, to protest the university’s lack of good-faith bargaining on a first contract. The doctors, members of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, have filed multiple Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charges with the Public Employee Relations Board.
“A ULP strike is the only way to compel UC to follow the laws that govern bargaining,” explained UAPD Pres. Stuart A. Bussey, M.D. “Unfortunately, UC has a history of disrespecting workers during negotiations, and we’re no exception to that.”
UC’s behavior has made it impossible for the student health doctors to reach a settlement on their first contract. UAPD members grew tired of UC’s unfair bargaining tactics prompting more than 90 percent of the membership to vote in favor of a ULP strike.
“We organized a union so that UC would respect doctors, and take seriously its obligation to provide health care, including adequate mental health services, to the students,” said Charles McDaniel, M.D., a psychiatrist who works at UCLA. “We have been trying to reach an agreement at the bargaining table, but UC’s ongoing unfair labor practices are standing in the way of that.”
Stonewalling negotiations with its workers’ unions is a pattern for UC, and UAPD is not the only AFSCME affiliate to give UC notice of a ULP strike. AFSCME Local 3299, Patient Care and Services employees, went on strike twice last year to expose UC for its serial law-breaking and unfair negotiating tactics at the bargaining table.
The doctors will be joined on the picket line by UC students, community supporters and other UC employees as they send a message to the administration with their historic strike. It is the first strike by licensed doctors in the past 25 years.
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