The Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD), which represents doctors and dentists at UC campus-based student health centers, has announced it plans to hold a one-day strike Tuesday, Jan. 27 at the student health centers.

We are disappointed in the union’s announcement and believe the best way to resolve differences is by working collaboratively at the bargaining table, not with a strike aimed at disrupting student health services.

Union leaders allege that a strike is necessary because they claim that the UC has engaged in several unfair labor practices concerning the following:

  • Union access to a meeting room at UC San Diego that is reserved for operational university meetings only (UC has offered an alternative room that is roughly 100 feet from the student health center);
  • A union request for information that we are seeking clarification on as we are unclear how the information pertains to bargaining;
  • Employee contributions to the UC pension plan (UCRP), which we are actively discussing with the union at the bargaining table.

We believe these allegations do not warrant a 24-hours work stoppage by disrupting student health care.

We also believe this strike is really an effort by the union to hold the student health centers hostage until UC accepts the union’s demands. Although tentative agreements have been reached on some contract matters, UC and the UAPD remain far apart on key issues, including wage increases. UC has offered strong economic proposals; yet the union continues to make demands, such as a 27 percent pay raise over four years, that would stress the budgets and operations of the student health centers.

UC’s latest five-year offer guarantees annual wage increases and the same health and retirement benefits as other UC employees:

  • 3.5 percent wage increase upon ratification — up from 3 percent in UC’s previous offer
  • 3 percent annual wage increases in each subsequent year through 2018-2019. This is an additional 3 percent in wage increases over the previous offer.
  • Employee pension contribution rates that are as much as 2 percent lower than what the union is proposing its members pay.

UC is prepared to work collaboratively with the UAPD toward a contract. We hope union leaders rescind the strike threat and focus their energies instead on resolving differences collaboratively at the bargaining table.

However, if the union proceeds with its strike, attached is some important information about strikes, including information about your right not to strike.