Physicians at U of California health centers begin walkout

Some unionized physicians will begin a four-day walkout Thursday, striking from their work at University of California student health centers, according to a San Francisco Gate report.

The Union of American Physicians and Dentists represents about 150 part- and full-time physicians who staff the UC health centers. The union has accused UC of withholding financial information necessary to negotiate a contract. The same issue prompted a one-day walkout in January, the first time in 25 years in which fully licensed physicians picketed a U.S. employer.

This time the walkout is scheduled to last several days, taking place in two shifts.

The Northern California strike includes physicians at UC Berkeley, UCSF, UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced. In Southern California, doctors at UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara will walk off their jobs from Saturday through Wednesday morning.

Picket lines will be set up at UC Berkeley and UCLA.

The physicians are independent of the UC medical center system, and the student health centers will remain open during the walkout, according to a statement from a UC official.

In a separate event, the Union of American Physicians and Dentists has also approved a strike-authorization vote for its physicians at the public Alameda Health System, who have been negotiating a contract with the county. No strike date has been set, according to the report.

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