Treat your resident pediatricians with respect and negotiate a fair contract!
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We are the resident physicians of UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland. We serve San Francisco Bay Area’s children and we love our jobs!
Unfortunately, for the past 16 months we have seen no progress while negotiating a new contract with the hospital administration. The hospital administration is not willing to make compromises, even on items that would improve efficiency and patient care, such as equipment walkthroughs to maintain computer equipment.
We came to the negotiation table with thoughtful and reasonable proposals, and we have continued to modify these proposals in order to reach an agreement. Yet the administration continues to refuse any change to our current contract. They have instead shown us a blatant lack of respect, including: showing up significantly late to bargaining sessions, scheduling bargaining sessions during busy patient care hours, and ignoring the clinical work we do to help UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland fulfill its mission.
That hurts. As resident pediatricians, we are dedicated to improving the health of children. We chose UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland in part because of the service it provides to some of the most underserved children in the area. It is from this deep-rooted conviction that we proudly entered this residency program knowing we will work 65-80 hours a week, while serving this community. Whether it is 3pm or 3am we are there for our patients and we are making medical decisions, often on our own. Our presence allows the hospital to care for the approximately 10,000 inpatient admissions, 200,000 outpatient admissions, and 47,000 emergency visits per year for patients throughout Northern California.
The administration’s approach to these contract negotiations leaves us concerned for our patients and the future of our residency program. The administration intends to freeze our wages for 3 additional years. This wage freeze will make it difficult to recruit the best resident doctors to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland, especially as housing prices in the Bay Area skyrocket. There is no question that the quality of a residency program depends on the quality of the residents we can recruit.
We have also asked the hospital to contribute $37,000 to our Patient Care Fund which helps families in need purchase discharge medications when they cannot afford them. Though neighboring hospitals contribute much more to their respective funds, our hospital’s administration at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland has refused to contribute one cent to ours. We have taken it upon ourselves to hold fundraisers like bake sales to try and cover this necessary patient service.
We feel that our proposals are investments in the future of our institution, residency program, and most importantly our community. The hospital was profitable in 2011 ($43 million) and 2012 ($11 million) and has recently received a $50,000,000 donation. Thus, it is appalling that the administration continues to reject our proposals that amount to about $250,000 in costs and would keep UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland in line with its mission of quality patient care. Since our hospital's affiliation with UCSF, we have felt that the hospital's attentions have been more focused on branding and building their new relationship accross the bay, rather than investing in their employees and in the Oakland Community.
Please sign our petition to encourage UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland to bargain in good faith! We need your support to encourage UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland to invest in our community pediatricians, and thereby invest in the health of the children of the Bay Area. Thank you!
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