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UC doctors to hold one-day strike over alleged unfair labor practices

By Jeong Park

Jan. 19, 2015 7:10 p.m.

Doctors in student health centers across the University of California will hold a one-day strike on Jan. 27 over what they call unfair labor practices, claiming the University has not negotiated in good faith with the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, which represents them.

“(An unfair labor practice) strike is the only way to compel (the) UC to follow the laws that govern bargaining,” said Stuart A. Bussey, president of the union, in a press release.

The University has negotiated with the union for nearly a year. The doctors, who organized the union in 2013, are negotiating for their first labor contract.

In its bargaining update in December, the University said its proposal would guarantee annual wage increases through 2018-2019 and the same employee pension contribution rates as most UC employees.

“We believe the best way to resolve these issues is at the bargaining table, not at the picket line,” said UC spokeswoman Shelly Meron in an email statement.

However, UAPD spokeswoman Sue Wilson said the University has unilaterally changed how much employees contribute to their pension program before the University and the union reached an agreement on the matter.

Wilson also said the University has not given the union information about the chancellor’s discretionary fund, which the union believes may be used to fund improvements it is looking for.

Meron said in the statement that the University thinks those issues do not warrant a strike that may impact students. She also said the union should allow the Public Employment Relations Board to look into the charges instead of calling for a strike.

She said in the statement that campus health centers will have medical staff who do not participate in the strike, though some routine or non-urgent appointments may be rescheduled.

Wilson said union members are happy to talk with the University to find a way to protect patients’ safety during the strike.

Compiled by Jeong Park, Bruin senior staff.

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