As residents, we provide essential care to the Irvine and Long Beach communities. UCIMC residents have been bargaining for over 23 months with little movement from the University. Our contract proposals have been simple: give us compensation that is commensurate with our work requirements and the expensive cost of living in Orange County.
UCIMC residents have some of the lowest wages of hospitals in southern California and have to live within a certain distance of their hospitals due to on-call emergency shifts. Many residents can’t afford to live close to their hospitals (within 30-60 minutes), and struggle with longer commutes. They find themselves in housing crises, living with roommates, or in unsafe neighborhoods because that is what they can afford. A housing stipend would help ensure a higher quality of living — UCSD and UCSF receive one, why not UCIMC?
The UCI residents have entered the 23rd month of negotiating with little-to-no changes in a contract status. They are physicians working without a contract, without the rights, the power, or the protections that a contract would provide. Residents question whether UCIMC respects their work or their worth, and some medical students are expressing reservations about matching there. One 4th year UCI medical student even stated,
“We care about UCI, but we want to make sure where we match for residency matches our values. We support the residents at the table.”
How is it that such a prestigious university cannot adequately compensate some of its hardest working employees? Here are some of our proposals, which are reasonable when you consider that UCIMC’s CEO, Terry Belmont, will be retiring with a compensation package of $821,678 after just six years on the job.
- A reasonable housing stipend
- Salary increases that match peers at other UC medical centers
- Patient Care Fund
- Meal allowances in all programs
- Scrubs with laundry service provided
UCIMC residents are asking for community support as we continue our negotiations. Would you be willing to sign on and support us?