For Immediate Release – June 10, 2021
Press Contact: Tricia Piper-Bennett
Hundreds of Resident Physicians at Harbor UCLA and LAC-USC Protest Against the Delay of COVID-19 Impact Pay
Senior Doctors on the frontlines of COVID-19 pandemic will not receive additional pay unless LA County acts soon
Los Angeles, CA– Yesterday hundreds of Interns, Resident and Fellow physicians at Harbor UCLA and LAC-USC Medical Centers, protested the ongoing delay of COVID-19 impact pay by County Supervisors. The Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU (CIR/SEIU) members united in actions at both hospitals to urge elected officials to finalize the critical benefit before the month’s end.
“Throughout COVID, we were figuratively the front and the last line of defense for this community,” said Dr. Christopher Vo, a third-year LAC-USC Internal Medicine Resident physician, and outgoing CIR/SEIU regional Vice President. “Today, we ask county leadership to take a moment to … recognize our value as health care workers, and show us the same good will we have shown to our patients, with respect and dignity.”
Roughly 400 of LA County’s most senior Resident physicians will graduate on June 30th. Without prompt action from County Supervisors, the hardships faced and heroism displayed by these frontline workers throughout the pandemic will go unrecognized.
California will soon be reopening; life for many will return to the old normal. But the emotional stress, physical exhaustion, interrupted training and financial burdens directly resulting from COVID-19 are the new normal for Interns, Resident and Fellow physicians, along with other frontline workers.
Dr. Camila Alvarado, a Family Medicine Intern at Harbor UCLA, said, “We are united [here] to say that we have earned impact pay. We are asking you to help us heal so that we continue to heal others.”
CIR members at Harbor UCLA were joined by Dr. Sion Roy, a former Resident physician at Harbor UCLA, and now attending cardiologist and candidate for the 50th assembly district. “Resident physicians were on the frontline of the pandemic working at the top of their scope and deserve to bargain with the county over the impacts of Covid before they graduate,” said Dr. Roy. “These have been unprecedented times and we need to respond in an unprecedented way.”
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 18,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities.