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UC Student Health Center Doctors, Dentists Protest During UCLA's 'Bruin Day'

LOS ANGELES ( — As a strike by union doctors and dentists at University of California student health centers continues, officials say the clinics will remain open Monday to serve patients.

The health care providers walked out of the clinics at UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Riverside and UC Santa Barbara Saturday as part of a rolling strike that began in Northern and Central California on Thursday. Union members say they are protesting the UC administration's refusal to provide the financial information they need to negotiate contracts.

Picket lines will be up at UCLA from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the UCLA Ashe Student Health Wellness Center at 221 Westwood Plaza. The Union of American Physicians and Dentists, which represents doctors and dentists at UC student health centers, plans a midday rally at the UCLA campus Monday during the university's "Bruin Day" open house event.

The union planned to have doctors in lab coats on a picket line at UCLA and says they will be joined by their counterparts from Irvine, San Diego, Riverside and Santa Barbara.

The doctors and dentists "will be joined by UC students, fellow UC workers, and concerned community members," said Sue Wilson of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists. Flying above the picket line will be a plane towing a banner in support of the striking doctors, she said.

The UCLA protest is aimed to convey information "about the important role that student health centers play on campus" and about unfair labor practices, as a new class of students and their parents tour the UCLA campus,
Wilson said.

Last week, a UC spokesman said the state is "disappointed" by the strike, which is billed as the first job action by medical doctors in the United States in 25 years.

Dwaine B. Duckett, UC's vice president for human resources, vowed that the schools are "taking appropriate steps to ensure our students will have uninterrupted access to the medical services they need at our campus health centers during these strikes."

The union maintains that the UC system has not remedied any of the unfair labor practice charges that the union has filed during the negotiations for a first contact for student health center doctors, Wilson said.

UC emphasized that the strike affects the student health centers only and not the UC training hospitals and their associated medical insurance, HMO and private insurance centers.

(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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