UCSF Medical Center residents, interns protest pay by walking off jobs for 15 minutes

Medical interns, residents and fellows at the University of California San Francisco Medical Center walked off the job for 15 minutes March 19 to protest for higher pay, among other demands, reports the San Francisco Examiner.

Five things to know:

1. The protest, which union organizers called a "unity break," comes after a year of failed contract negotiations between UCSF Medical Center and the Committee of Interns and Residents.

2. The union represents 1,100 residents and fellows at the hospital who say they are not compensated enough to afford San Francisco's rental market. Many physicians do not live in the city and some pick up additional shifts or second jobs if possible, according to Veronica Searles Quick, MD, PhD, a second-year psychiatric resident at UCSF Medical Center.

3. The union is also calling for the creation of a "grievance procedure" in which interns, residents and fellows can seek union representation or third-party arbitration during disciplinary hearings. Of the 10 hospitals the union represents in the Bay Area, UCSF Medical Center is the only one that does not permit this practice for interns, residents and fellows, according to union officials. All other hospital employees at UCSF Medical Center already have the right to be represented through a grievance procedure.

4. UCSF Medical Center said it "deeply values the many contributions" of its intern and resident physicians in a statement emailed to Becker's.

"UCSF has bargained in good faith, presenting comprehensive proposals to address important issues related to terms and conditions of employment, and issues identified as important to its residents/interns," the hospital said in the statement. "UCSF remains committed to the bargaining process, and to reaching agreement with the union."

5. The union planned to continue negotiations with hospital leaders March 19, but the meeting was canceled due to a separate strike involving university professional and technical employees represented by the UPTE-CWA 9119 union. Workers picketed at five University of California hospitals March 20, including UCSF Medical Center.

More articles on human capital and risk: 

NYC hospital alliance files labor charge against union after strike announced
Munson Medical Center, union reach tentative labor deal
New York City workers from 3 health systems to strike April 2

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