Doctors at all 10 University of California student health centers, including one at UC San Diego, announced Friday that they will hold a one-day unfair labor practices strike Tuesday.
Organizers said the walkout will mark the first time in 25 years that fully licensed doctors have gone on strike against a U.S. employer. It will also be the first strike in the 43-year history of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, according to the labor organization.
“Obviously, we’re disappointed that the union has chosen to go on strike,” said Shelly Meron, a spokeswoman for the UC president’s office.
The UAPD said doctors at the student health clinics unionized in 2013 and have been in negotiations on their first contract for over a year, during which they’ve filed multiple unfair labor practice charges against the UC system for what they consider to be illegal behavior at the bargaining table.
A “strike is the only way to compel UC to follow the laws that govern bargaining,” said UAPD President Dr. Stuart Bussey. “Unfortunately, UC has a history of disrespecting workers during negotiations, and we’re no exception to that.”
At UCSD, picketing is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. on the Library Walk near the Geisel Library.
Meron said UC officials are making preparations to have medical personnel at the student health clinics, though some routine, non-emergency appointments might have to be rescheduled.
“We think the best way to reach a resolution is at the bargaining table, not the picket line,” Meron said.
She said the two sides met earlier this week.
— City News Service