U of California reaches contracts with physicians

Resident physicians and fellows at the University of California Irvine and the University of California San Francisco have reached new contracts that include wage increases and other benefits.

The Committee of Interns and Residents, a local of the Service Employees International Union, announced the contracts Dec. 5.

UCSF residents and fellows reached a tentative agreement with the hospital on Nov. 29, while the UC Irvine physicians approved their new contract on Nov. 18, according to a union news release shared with Becker's. The contracts were reached after physicians held actions in November at five UC campuses to raise awareness about what the union called "their systemwide fight for improved patient care and fair contracts across all hospitals."

Both agreements include raises to help keep up with inflation, beginning with an average of more than 7 percent for physicians, depending on their experience level, the Committee of Interns and Residents said. The union also said physicians codified an additional four weeks of paid parental leave — from four to eight weeks — and that the contracts include expanded meal stipend benefits.

The union contends these provisions are crucial given residents' student loan debt and physicians' work hours.

"Our wins at UCSF and UC Irvine show that the University of California is capable of meeting the basic needs of its trainees in order to provide the best care to patients," Kelley Butler, MD, a second-year resident at UCSF, said in the union news release.

Becker's reached out to UC Irvine and will update the article if a comment is received.

A UCSF spokesperson told Becker's, "We're glad we were able to reach an agreement that reflects the value we place on our physician trainees and the work they perform. We look forward to the contract's ratification."

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