St. Elizabeth Hospital Residents worked diligently to maintain the hospital’s public service mission of serving individuals with serious and persistent mental illness. Residents work in a newly built, state-of-the-art hospital and soon will be working under a newly-negotiated contract that features a 3 percent wage increase for the next three years beginning April 2013. The amount of money available to residents to present at conferences nearly doubled to $1,850. Residents voted unanimously to ratify the new contract and are scheduled to receive their wage increases in August.
Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami has struggled financially and it has been five long years without a new CIR contract. But resident leaders persevered and on May 7, 2013, CIR members ratified a contract providing raises, protecting benefits and creating a housestaff involvement fund.
The hard fought CIR contract features a 5 percent pay increase for the hospital’s 1100 residents. Starting this year individual employee health insurance premiums will be paid for by the hospital and residents also negotiated solutions for housestaff who are too fatigued to drive home after their shifts. The Housestaff community involvement fund of $125,000 paid by the hospital each year will be used for quality improvement, patient care and community health projects. Residents also won 189,000 for the patient care fund.
“After months of negotiations, not only were we able to keep our excellent benefits, but we were able to get a salary increase and a quality improvement fund.. Everyone deserves commendation and recognition for their hard work. It’s victories like this that make CIR such a vital organization and make me proud to be a member,” said Matt Carlile, Regional Vice President.
The housestaff bargaining committee at the University of New Mexico Continued its tradition of championing resident well-being by establishing a 24-hour gym in the resident lounge. They also were able to double their annual Quality Improvement Fund—now $20,000 — to be used on a variety of projects throughout the hospital focused on patient care and satisfaction.
As hospitals continue to utilize mobile technology for both record keeping and patient care, residents used their voice at the bargaining table to make sure they had input on the transition from desktop and paper to hand-held mobile devices. As part of the hospital-wide electronic working group, housestaff negotiated for language in their new contract that ensures computer problems are resolved in a timely manner and reviewed monthly. The final contract also included salary increases for PGYs 1-3 and a $15,000 increase in their Patient Care Fund (now $45,000 each year).
Tough financial times have also beset Boston Medical Center in the last few years, but residents proved how much they can achieve if they stick together. PGYs 1-3 won long overdue salary increases of 2 percent and PGYs 4-8 received a 1.5 percent increase – all retroactive to Oct 1, 2012. Housestaff also convinced the hospital to move their education allowance from a bonus to a reimbursement system. The tax savings mean members will see an over 50 percent increase in the amount of money they receive from the allowance ($750/year per house officer).
As new ACGME requirements put increased emphasis on quality improvement in residency, CIR members found a way to address those requirements at the negotiation table. The family medicine program at Sutter Medical Center of Santa Rosa fought for a contract that included a Patient Care and Quality Improvement Fund of $12,000 for resident “fire-starter” projects. It’s the first time the Sutter chapter will have a patient care fund. Residents also won salary increases for all PGY levels and an increased hourly rate of $45 an hour for unscheduled shifts covered on weekends, holidays and weekdays after 7 pm. Each resident will also be entitled to $3,100 annually for medical meetings, professional seminars, examination and license fees, damaged personal property, books / periodicals, medical equipment, electronic equipment, hardware or software.