LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Doctors at University of California student health centers, including the one at UCLA, picketed Tuesday to protest what they call unfair labor practices.
Organizers said the walkout marks the first time in 25 years that fully licensed doctors have gone on strike against a U.S. employer. It is also 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.
According to the union, 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 UCLA, doctors picketed outside the Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center, 221 Westwood Plaza.
Meron said UC officials made 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.
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