Oakland Trauma Center Doctors Fed Up With Negotiation Misconduct


Press Release

For Immediate Release

Press Contact: Dara Streit

E:  dara@telegraphpr.com

M: 415-914-5616

Oakland Trauma Center Doctors Fed Up With Negotiation Misconduct

Exhausted Highland Hospital Resident Physicians Demand Fair Contract

Oakland, CA — Resident physicians with Alameda Health System, represented by the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), spoke out this afternoon to protest what they say is Alameda Health’s bad faith conduct in contract negotiations, after filing an unfair labor practice charge last week over the system’s regressive responses and delays at the table. The doctors have been working without a contract since November 2022, and are demanding an agreement with the system that prioritizes quality patient care and their mental and physical wellbeing. Residents were joined in solidarity by members of SEIU 1021 and community members. 

Serving at the center of patient care at Highland Hospital, the East Bay’s only Level 1 Trauma Center, residents regularly work up to 80 hours a week, taking on many roles outside of their core work as physicians in order to cover gaps in staffing. “Many of my colleagues and I came to AHS and Highland Hospital because we wanted to provide care to a community that has been structurally underserved for far too long,” said Dr. DaShawn Hickman, a third-year emergency medicine resident at Highland Hospital and a CIR Regional Vice President. “All we want is a contract that ensures humane working conditions, but instead, management is acting in bad faith by failing to respond to our demands diligently and in a timely manner.”

With rent in Oakland among the highest nationwide, Highland physicians say their pay and benefits are falling behind other Bay Area residency programs, including UCSF, which they feel will make it difficult for AHS to continue attracting physicians who reflect Oakland’s diversity and who are committed to providing care informed by the many factors impacting patients’ health. 

“Highland Hospital resident physicians provide critical care for our community,” said California State Senator Nancy Skinner (District 9). “It is far too common in medical training for resident physicians to work long hours, suffer from widespread understaffing, and take on stressful financial burdens. I urge Alameda Health System to respond to these concerns, bargain in good faith, and reach a fair contract with the Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU.”

In addition to the need for crucial wage increases and housing stipends, residents are advocating for family planning benefits, parental leave, mental health benefits and a substantial increase to a resident-administered diversity, equity and inclusion fund.

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 25,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities.