Resident Physicians at UC Davis and UC Los Angeles Secure Contract After Historic Action
Los Angeles, CA —Resident physicians and fellows at the University of California Davis and the University of California Los Angeles, represented by the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR-SEIU), secured fair contracts in January following months of negotiations. The agreements, which UC Irvine and UC San Francisco also secured last month, were reached after doctors across the state organized the largest resident physician system-wide protests in US history late last year to advocate for improved working conditions and patient care.
Residents in the University of California’s healthcare system, which is the largest care provider in the state, coordinated across their hospitals to fight for fair contracts. “Across the UCs, the issues resident physicians and fellows face are the same, from extreme overwork to mental health challenges,” said Dr. Ariel Wu, a second-year emergency medicine resident at UC Los Angeles. “That’s why we united to make meaningful change for ourselves, our patients and the physicians who come after us. Our patients deserve to be given world-class care by physicians who are treated fairly, and who can be fully present when we are in the hospital.”
After months of organizing, residents at UC Davis and UC Los Angeles were thrilled to secure a contract that fulfilled these basic needs. The contract grants residents much-needed salary raises to help keep up with inflation: a 6% retroactive raise for 2022, with 5% salary raises in 2023 and 2024. Residents also secured an additional four weeks of paid parental leave.
With residents often saddled with $200,000 in average student loan debt and regularly working over 80 hours a week, a fair contract is essential to ensure they can provide top quality care. UC Health has yet to reach contract agreements with Olive View-UCLA residents, as well as UC Riverside and UCSF Fresno physicians, who treat patients in some of the most structurally underresourced communities in the state. CIR physicians say this delay is unacceptable.
“We stand in solidarity with our fellow frontline physicians at UCSF Fresno and UC Riverside in their fight to secure a fair contract,” said Dr. Emma Zavala-Suárez, a second year psychiatry resident at UC Davis. “What messages does the University send to its residents and the communities they serve when these salaries are insufficient to pay rent? The University of California must do better in upholding its own stated principles of equity by agreeing to a fair contract now.”
The Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) is the largest house staff union in the United States. A local of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), representing over 24,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities.