Alameda resident physicians score 20% raises, avert strike

More than 100 unionized resident physicians at Oakland, Calif.-based Highland Hospital have reached a tentative contract deal that includes more than 20 percent compensation increases over three years, successfully averting a strike. 

The bargain is "excellent," the Committee of Interns and Residents — which represents the physicians —- wrote in a May 19 news release shared with Becker's

The union filed multiple unfair labor charges against the health system during an eight-month bargaining period. On May 15, the physicians told the hospital's parent system, Alameda (Calif.) Health System, that they planned to strike later in the month. This led the health system to accelerate bargaining, which drew to a close May 18, according to the union. 

In addition to pay increases, the physicians secured "eight weeks' paid parental leave, fair pay for when they're forced to come in unexpectedly, an increase in their diversity fund to $30,000 annually, mental health benefits, and an enforceable commitment to negotiate family building and fertility benefits later this year," the union release said. 

The health system told Becker's that they have engaged in good-faith negotiations with the union "from day-one." 

"AHS residents have always been among California's highest-paid resident physicians, and our residency programs are regarded as among the most desirable in the country," the health system said in a statement. "For example, current residents and recent alumni rank Highland Hospital's emergency residency program among the top five in the country."

"AHS is delighted to have reached an agreement with CIR/SEIU, which represents the physician residents who train at AHS hospitals and facilities," the health system continued. "We are especially pleased that this contract includes benefits that will continue to attract and support residents who reflect the diversity of the community we serve."

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