DOCTORS STRIKE at UC HOSPITALS
For physicians work stoppage is almost unheard of -- these are the guys who treat patients under fire in war zones and whose lives are 7 years shorter than the rest of the population because of the stress entailed at being available at all hours for a lifetime.
But now the tide has turned. Healthcare conglomerates have converted doctors into healthcare providers and often employ less trained associates to do the job -- give 'em a white coat and set 'em loose on patients while profits soar to top executives.
It is not hard in that context to understand why UC or any other competitive company engaged in selling healthcare services and products might want to exploit its workers. Yesterday it was the garment workers. Today it is the physicians' turn.
This time the target is the doctors who take care of the students at UC. Over a year ago the doctors learned that they needed to be organized, not just for wages, but also to be enabled to provide the best health care they can. Over this length of time the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) has had to contend repeatedly with unfair labor practices (ULPs) perpetrated by UC. As a result the UAPD determined that "a ULP strike is the only way to compel UC to follow the laws that govern bargaining."
Stuart A. Bussey, MD, president of the UAPD, stated that "UC has a history of disrespecting workers during negotiations, and we're no exception to that."
Doctors at all 10 campus health centers are ready to strike. There will be six picketing sites, UC Berkeley at UHS Tang Center, UC Davis at the Student Health and Wellness Center, UC Santa Cruz at the Student Health Center, UC Irvine at the Student Health Center, UCLA at the Ashe Student Student Health and Welfare Center, and UC San Diego at Student Health Services.