Resident Physicians and Fellows at LAC+USC Medical Center, Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Outpatient Center Reach Tentative Deal With County, Membership to Vote to Ratify New Contract in Coming Week
Los Angeles, CA—The LA County Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU) member bargaining team announced Sunday that they have reached a likely deal with County officials, after months of negotiations and more than 20 hours of intensive bargaining since Wednesday, and with a strike planned for June 13-15. The bargaining team, which is made up of dozens of CIR members from across the three County hospitals, say that with a strike scheduled and pressure from the workers, the County finally presented good faith salary and benefits proposals that are in line with the physicians’ demands during intensive bargaining Friday night.
“With our organizing, our power as workers, and the threat of our impending strike, we convinced the County to move dramatically in negotiations towards what we need to care for ourselves and our patients–further than they ever have in CIR’s history with the County,” says Dr. Monique Hedmann, a second-year family medicine resident at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, bargaining team member, and a CIR Regional Vice President. “Our goal was always to get a strong contract, and what really matters is that this proposal contains real material gains that will help the new interns who are starting this summer right away in their first months in LA.”
The final proposal includes average salary increases of 5.5% in the first year of the contract, followed by 3.25% in the following two years, a $3000 increase in annual housing stipends, a signing bonus for incoming interns, the creation of a $125,000 fund for diverse recruitment efforts and more. First-year residents will receive a historic 14.5 percent raise under their new contract.
“This fight really started about this time last year when we started initial conversations with the County–and so much has happened since then–so it’s a bit surreal,” says Dr. Felisha Eugenio, another bargaining team member, a third-year chief resident in family medicine at MLK Outpatient Center and a former CIR regional vice president. “Now we can continue caring for our patients without pause, with a resolution that contains significant gains that will help our hospitals continue attracting dedicated doctors to serve our communities.”
The resident physicians and fellows say they are overwhelmed with the outpouring of support they’ve received from around the country, including from Workers United-SEIU 52 laundry workers, who process linens for County hospitals and who pledged to stand with CIR members during their strike. The bargaining team has presented the proposal to the full membership and says a ratification vote will happen in the coming days.
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 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.