Today the University of California (UC) formally recognized the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) as the exclusive bargaining representative of doctors working in the student health centers on all ten UC campuses. This marks the successful completion of an organizing campaign that began in December 2012, when a handful of doctors on a few campuses started talking to UAPD and their colleagues about the merits of forming a union. Less than a year later, they are officially union doctors and part of the UAPD family.
The process of gathering union authorization cards from a majority of student health center doctors actually finished back in April. For the seven months, UC attorneys did everything in their power to postpone recognition of this new union, but in the end reason and justice prevailed. Now that student health center doctors are represented by a union, negotiations for their first contract can begin. UAPD will immediately begin scheduling bargaining dates with UC.
This is UAPD’s second organizing victory this fall. In Southern California, providers at the To Help Everyone (T.H.E.) Health and Wellness Center also voted in favor of forming a union with UAPD. In addition to representing public sector doctors, UAPD has begun organizing non-profit health clinics in recent years.