Tuesday, January 21

Cuts to heath insurance benefits prompt walkout at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center

UCLA resident physicians and interns announced Friday that they will hold a walkout at Ronald Reagan Medical Center. The walkout, which will be held Wednesday, was in response to alleged cuts to health insurance benefits and restrictions to union access. (Daily Bruin file photo)

Resident physicians and interns will hold a walkout at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center on Wednesday in response to alleged cuts to health insurance benefits and restrictions to union access.

The Committee of Interns and Residents, the largest house staff union in the United States, announced the walkout Friday. CIR is a local of the Service Employees International Union, which represents physicians and fellows.

According to a press release from CIR, UCLA intends to make cuts to doctors’ health insurance benefits and continues to restrict union access following a year of bargaining with the union.

The union has been unable to have union representation on campus, said Tricia Piper-Bennett, program manager for the public relations company representing CIR.

Union members are not able to access a union representative during breaks or lunch hours and UCLA has not provided contact details for incoming and exiting residents, both of which are mandated by the state, Piper-Bennett said.

A UCLA Health spokesperson said in an email statement that UCLA believes it has offered a fair package to the interns and resident physicians.

“The University has offered a generous compensation package to our medical residents, fellows and interns, including salary increases, a housing allowance and continued access to health benefits,” the spokesperson said.

UCLA Health did not comment on CIR access to union representatives.

The spokesperson said the university remains committed to good-faith negotiations and believes an agreement is best negotiated at the bargaining table.

According to the press release, the hospital will remain open during the walkout, but patients are encouraged to confirm their Wednesday appointments.

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Assistant News editor

Shapero is an assistant News editor in the National News & Higher Education beat. She was previously a contributor for the National News & Higher Education beat. Shapero is a third-year political science student who enjoys covering national and statewide news.

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