Resident Physicians and Fellows at the Children’s Hospital of Oakland Could Be the First in Their Union to Strike in 32 Years
Oakland, CA—Frontline CIR member-doctors at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital of Oakland (CHO) announced today that they plan to vote to authorize an unfair labor practice (ULP) strike in response to consistent bad faith conduct at the bargaining table on the part of hospital management. If they go on strike, the physicians would be the first in their union to do so for 32 years–a clear demonstration of their frustration with CHO’s behavior at the table, even as they continue to provide exceptional care to Oakland’s children and families.
CIR members are voting to authorize this historic ULP strike on the grounds that throughout a contract bargaining process that has spanned more than 6 months, CHO has repeatedly failed to bargain in good faith, including by canceling bargaining sessions, delaying core wage proposals, coming to the table unprepared, providing inaccurate information about contract proposal costing and more.
“We chose to do our residency at CHO because we wanted to ensure that Oakland’s children receive compassionate, dedicated care in moments of health crisis, and that their families are met with that same care and dedication,” says Dr. Chris DaSilva, a second-year pediatrics resident at CHO. “But we cannot continue doing this at our current pay while carrying hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, and CHO can’t continue attracting physicians who reflect the diversity of our community as things stand. That’s why it’s so urgent that CHO bargains with us in good faith.”
CIR and CHO are currently in mediation after the hospital refused to offer wage proposals that reflect residents’ needs and their contribution to patient care. CHO residents, who carry extreme student loan debt, make an average of $75,000 while working on average about 70 hours per week, which comes out to roughly $22 an hour in one of the most expensive cost-of-living areas of the country.
The strike authorization voting will begin on Tuesday, September 13 and end on Thursday, September 15.
The Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) is the largest housestaff union in the United States. A local of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), representing over 22,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care and expanding healthcare access for our communities.