Doctors at all 10 University of California campus health centers affiliated with the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) conducted an unfair labor practice strike Tuesday to protest a year-long labor conflict surrounding allegedly illegal contract negotiating by UC.
The UAPD-hosted strike marks the first time in 25 years that fully licensed doctors have gone on strike against a U.S. physicians employer. Rallies were held at UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UCLA and UC San Diego and included UC doctors, staff, students, union representatives and local elected officials.
UCLA student health center physician Charles McDaniel said the strike was prompted by the UC system’s refusal to provide the doctors and union members with information on UC finances.
“More strikes are definitely available to us if this issue is not resolved,” McDaniel said.
We are just hoping the UC system will return to the bargaining table and stop these unfair labor practices. – UAPD spokesperson Sue Wilson
UAPD spokesperson Sue Wilson said the UC system has been withholding financial information from the union in a manner that qualifies as an unfair labor practice and diminishes the union’s ability to effectively bargain.
“We are just hoping the UC system will return to the bargaining table and stop these unfair labor practices,” Wilson said.
UC Office of the President (UCOP) spokesperson Shelly Meron said UCOP does not believe a strike is necessary as the UC has been negotiating with the union for approximately a year and has offered a three percent wage increase for most physicians and dentists.
“The union is using the strike simply as a negotiation tool,” Meron said.
According to McDaniel however, the UC system has consistently violated labor laws and practiced unfair negotiations for the past year.
“It’s a consistent pattern and it’s outrageous the way that they violate the labor laws and are completely not transparent about this,” McDaniel said.
Staff writer Lannhu Khuat contributed to this report.