Doctors and other student health professionals from UC Irvine and other Southern California campuses began a strike on Saturday at UCLA. An additional strike was schedule for Monday as well.
Represented by the Union of American Physicians and Dentists, the protesting health professionals said that the purpose of the strike is to protest the UC administration’s refusal to provide financial information necessary in the bargaining process for reinforced healthcare resources.
Doctors from UCLA, UC Irvine, UC San Diego, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara staged picket lines at UCLA’s Ashe Student Health and Wellness Center during Bruin Day, an annual event for admitted freshman visiting the Los Angeles campus.
Student health center doctors from the UC campuses in Southern California began a walk out in which they will leave their jobs on Saturday and return to work on Wednesday morning.
The doctors left their offices and clinics on Saturday at 7 a.m. and are expected to return at 7 a.m. Wednesday.
Doctors and other physicians in UC campuses from UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz, UC Davis and UC Merced had already begun their four-day walkout last Thursday.
Health centers remained open during the strike. Replacement and substitute physicians provided services to students throughout the strike. Additionally, any non-emergency appointments were deferred for different days.
Previously, about 130 members of the UAPD held a one-day strike across all the 10 UC campuses in January.
For the doctors, the most pressing issue is UC’s failure to provide any financial information, which the UAPD said it needs in order to bargain effectively on behalf of practicing doctors at UC student health centers.
Many of the protesting doctors were compelled to strike due to unfair working conditions, making it increasingly difficult to provide quality healthcare students.
The doctors often find themselves working several hours over their scheduled shift and not receiving pay for it. When physicians work longer than their scheduled shift results in declining quality of healthcare.
Doctors and physicians were said that they were also alarmed that resources were allocated for a 20 percent increase in wages for chancellors, but no adequate sources towards student health services.
The healthcare doctors from the UC campuses unionized in 2013, spending more than a year negotiating with UC. The union is working towards organizing contracts regarding wages, working conditions and benefits.