UC Davis Resident and Fellow Physicians Ratify First Contract


June 10, 2021
Press Contact: Tricia Piper-Bennett
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UC Davis Resident and Fellow Physicians Ratify First Contract
After 20 months of negotiations with Hospital Administrators, Resident and Fellow Physicians Win Contract

Sacramento, CA – In a momentous victory, UC Davis Resident and Fellow physicians, members of the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU), completed their first contract last month when hospital administrators accepted a counter-proposal including a $4,000 housing allowance, a benefit that would improve the diversity of future UC Davis Resident physicians. The past 3 days saw unprecedented numbers of Interns, Resident and Fellow physicians sign up to become members, vote on the first contract and celebrate the life-changing wins. 

With a near unanimous “yes” vote, members approved the contract with UC Davis Health. The now ratified Memorandum of Understanding marks the end of a grueling 20-month contract negotiation.

“It has been a long road, but I am thrilled that the university has acknowledged the need to recruit and retain diverse physicians for the Sacramento community. This new contract addresses the needs of physician Residents and Fellows in the year 2021, and sets the bar for future negotiations,” said Dr. Debi Thomas, a 4th-year General Surgery Resident physician. “We have established mutual respect and a working relationship between the administration and the Resident and Fellow [physicians] who are the backbone of the hospital.”

Contract highlights also include 6-weeks paid parental leave, as well as an annual $1,000 educational reimbursement for Resident and Fellow physicians to access electronic equipment, medical journals and other training needs.

“We are excited to have one of the strongest paid parental leave policies in the UC system and a housing allowance that will help us afford living nearer to the hospital,” said Dr. Scott Korotkin, 2nd-year Family Medicine Resident physician. “Many of us already carry over $250,000 in student loan debt. Having new money stipulated in our contract will allow us to provide excellent patient care without adding to our financial burdens.”

The nearly 800 UC Davis Resident and Fellow physicians joined CIR/SEIU in May 2019 to attain consistency and security in their contracts as they advocated to improve working conditions and patient care. 

The first contract for UC Davis Resident and Fellow physicians was achieved after over 30 bargaining sessions and escalations including four Unity Breaks, a banner drop at the hospital, and other consistent collective actions. The persistent efforts of the founding UC Davis members will ensure the dignity, respect and ability to pay for basic needs, not only for themselves, but future Resident and Fellow physicians for years to come. 

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.