A statewide strike of doctors at all the UC systems, including UC San Diego, started Tuesday, the first time such a strike has occurred in 25 years.
The protest, which will impact student health centers, not the UC health system, started at 7:30 a.m. on UCSD’s campus.
The strike is happening all across the UC system, which means as many as 120 doctors are expected to be out of their offices across the state.
As many as 10 doctors and dentists were expected to walk out of UCSD’s student health center as part of a protest against what they say are unfair labor practices.
Union officials are claiming that for the past year they’ve tried to settle on a contract, but the UC system has engaged in “illegal behavior” in discussions, denying them access to certain financial information.
“What we’re trying to ascertain is financial info from the university to understand why their funding for student health for primary care and psych services can’t be increased,” said Dr. Amol Doshi, one of the doctors at UCSD taking part in the protest.
Doshi said that information is critical considering the center only has two part-time psychiatrists to treat a growing population at the school in need of mental health treatment.
“A lot of care or mental health services have fallen on shoulders of primary care physicians and I think it hurts our chances to take care of patients for other non-psych issues,” Doshi said.
Pay has been another hot negotiation issue. A UC system spokeswoman said that doctors average $150,000 a year and are being offered a 15.5-percent raise over the next five years, though the union is requesting a 27-percent increase.