UC Irvine Residents Win Housing Allowance, Education Funds in First CIR Contract University of California Irvine Medical Center residents ratified a three-year contract providing a $2,900 housing stipend to housestaff living within a certain radius of their training sites, educational reimbursements of $750 next year and $1,000 each year after that, and a host of other benefits.
This first contract represents a major victory for residents who endured a lengthy challenge to their right to form a union and protracted bargaining.
Residents at the Orange County hospital showed a united front and persevered through dozens of bargaining sessions, a change in leadership at the hospital and medical school, and the challenges of creating a collective bargaining agreement that meets the needs of some 600 residents spread out among 12 work sites in Orange County and Los Angeles County.
“Having a contract will make us feel like our voices matter and that our patients’ voices are being heard, and that we’re part of the larger institution providing care to the people of Orange County,” said Dr. Ruchi Kapoor, an internal medicine resident who was part of the bargaining committee.
Dr. Kapoor and her colleagues wrote op-eds, testified before the University of California Board of Regents, met with local politicians, spoke out at town hall meetings and rallies, and gathered hundreds of petition signatures during the course of the campaign.