The residents at two California hospitals — Children’s Hospital in Oakland and Sutter Health in Santa Rosa — have ratified contracts this week, which will improve working conditions, pay, and benefits for housestaff over the duration of the three year contracts. Residents have proven that when united and we ask more of our employer, we often get it.
Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital
The bargaining team at Sutter Santa Rosa was persistent even when the administration was resistant on key issues. At the negotiation table, residents shared personal experiences about applying to residencies, including sacrificing pay and other benefits by choosing Sutter over many other higher paying area hospitals. Residents were able to secure 2 percent annual increases for the next three years.
Other highlights include:
“Negotiating our contract has been a unique and worthwhile experience. Gathering priorities from the residents, taking into account the long term interests of future residents, and negotiating with an employer who at times had directly competing interests, all made for a challenging experience,” said Dr. Joel Charles, a PGY 3 resident. “Our team benefited from a significant camaraderie which built up throughout the negotiations, and from the effective support from CIR staff. In the end we came to a strong agreement and laid the groundwork for an even better agreement in the next round.”
Children’s Hospital Oakland (CHO)
The bargaining team at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland came to an new three-year agreement with the hospital, which secured a $3,000 housing allowance. First year residents received an increase to their base salary at 9.81 percent with the housing allowance, 2 percent increases in year two and year three of the agreement, increases to the Educational Fund, and continued our $750 toward Board exams.
Residents can expect the housing allowance to be paid in their first paychecks each month starting on September 2, 2016.
The bargaining committee also secured parking at CHO. All residents will be granted free access to the main hospital parking garage, and upon request, a security escort shall be made available to and from the lot.
“Through the negotiation process we were able to identify priorities and come to a mutual agreement on establishing a housing stipend and increasing our overall salary,” said Dr. Theo Chou, a PGY 2 resident. “We are excited as this will not only help our current residents but also benefit the hospital with recruitment of new residents in the future.”
These victories are good news for the residents of California, as well as nationwide — contracts like these set a high standard for resident negotiations for the future, and set a precedent that residents deserve better working conditions, higher pay, and quality benefits.