California physicians set strike dates

Members of Valley Physicians Group plan to begin a four-day strike on Nov. 1 in Santa Clara (Calif.) County.

The union represents more than 450 physicians in the county's public health and hospital system, according to an Oct. 27 VPG news release shared with Becker's.  

Union members issued a strike notice Oct. 19 after authorizing a walkout earlier in the month. The strike will begin at 8 a.m. on Nov. 1 and continue through Nov. 4.

VPG said that during negotiations, physicians agreed to a salary structure for their next contract, but working condition issues, such as workloads and staffing, remain unresolved.

"Negotiating demands from Santa Clara County physicians are modest and reasonable, but would make huge improvements in patient care.," the union's Oct. 27 news release states. "Physicians are asking for two fewer patients scheduled in a day in primary care and a more appropriate patient load. Physicians are also asking for more dedicated time to address the overwhelming paperwork and email correspondence to coordinate care for a medically complex patient community who are impacted by multiple social determinants of health."

The union added that the changes "would bring Santa Clara County closer in line with industry standards on patient care, though still with more patients per day than other comparable counties in California like San Francisco, Alameda and Los Angeles."

Santa Clara County Executive Jeff Smith, MD, told Becker's Oct. 28, "We are in negotiations with VPG right now and making progress. I hope to avoid a strike."

If the strike occurs, union members plan to picket during the strike between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. at Valley Medical Center in San Jose, Calif.

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