What SDHSA Has Achieved for House Staff
Although the SDHSA was incorporated back in 1978, it was not until 2002 that PERB (California’s Public Employment Relations Board) certified SDHSA as the “exclusive representative” of UCSD Residents. Beginning in 2005, the SDHSA began negotiating the Employment Contracts (called a “Memorandum of Understanding” or “MOU”) between UCSD and UCSD Residents. Since then, SDHSA has changed the very nature of the relationship between Teaching Hospitals and their House Staff and along the way, obtained significant benefits for UCSD House Staff including:
Welcome Fellows! Over the years, SDHSA has argued that the Fellows should be covered by SDHSA’s umbrella. Because they were not, Fellows were denied many of the benefits negotiated by the SDHSA – what we called the “Fellows’ Penalty.” Commencing in 2017, the SDHSA began a multi-faceted fight to bring UCSD Fellows under SDHSA’s umbrella. In April of 2018, SDHSA was successful with PERB ordering UCSD to include UCSD Fellows in the titles exclusively represented by SDHSA. Thereafter, UCSD Fellows were included in the 2018-2021 Contract Negotiations.
Annual Salary Increase: SDHSA has negotiated automatic annual increases in the salaries of House Staff to stave off inflation and keep UCSD en par with national wage averages. For the 2018 Contract, the latest increases are:
MOU 5.4 The University will increase salary rates for year 2018-2019 for the classifications covered by this Memorandum of Understanding to an amount equal to the University of California Office of the President recommended House Staff Salary Scale for 2018-2019 (approximately 3.1% over the previous year).
MOU 5.5 The University will establish salary rates for year 2019-2020 in an amount equal to the 2018-2019 UCSDH salary scale plus 3%.
MOU 5.6 The University will establish salary rates for year 2020-2021 in an amount equal to the 2019- 2020 UCSDH salary scale plus 3%.
Annual Housing Stipend: We all know how great it is to live in San Diego with the endless sunshine and beautiful ocean. Yet there is also that “Sunshine Tax” meaning that the Cost of Living in San Diego is significantly higher – especially the cost of housing. Prior to 2007, there was no housing stipend. In 2007, SDHSA sought to remedy this inequity and introduced the “Housing Stipend” concept. Finally, UCSD agreed to pay UCSD Residents an additional “Housing Stipend” to help offset the high cost of living in San Diego. In 2007 the Housing Stipend was $1,500. With the 2018 Contract:
MOU 20.1 The University agrees to pay each individual in a represented House Staff covered position a Housing Stipend.
MOU 20.2 For academic year 2018-2019 the Housing Stipend will be five thousand, eight hundred dollars ($5,800).
MOU 20.3 For academic year 2019-2020 the Housing Stipend for all House Staff covered positions will be five thousand, nine hundred dollars ($5,900).
MOU 20.4 For academic year 2020-2021 the Housing Stipend for all House Staff covered positions will be six thousand dollars ($6,000).
Said Housing Stipend will now be paid in two installments, 50% on October 1 and 50% on February 1 of each Academic Year.
Educational Stipend: Prior to 2007, an Educational Stipend of $1,000.00 per Resident was paid directly to the Resident’s respective Departments with no control of its use by the House Staff. Believing that the Residents should be able to determine the use of at least some of these funds, in 2007 SDHSA got UCSD to agree to pay each House Staff Physician a portion of the Educational Stipend upon submission of proof of an authorized expense. Subsequently the SDHSA negotiated that UCSD pay $500 per year directly to each Resident to help offset Educational expenses. This continues under the 2018 Contract.
Protecting and Improving Medical Benefits: As we all know, the cost of medical treatment and accordingly, Medical Insurance has increased dramatically over the years. This has resulted in pressure on UCSD to cut benefits and/or increase co-pays and premiums. The SDHSA has vigorously fought such cuts and protected House Staff from any erosion in these benefits for House Staff members and their dependents. The 2018 Contract not only protects the prior Medical and Disability Insurance Benefits but under a recent proposal, benefit plans will be improved and costs to House Staff reduced commencing July 1, 2019
Meal Allowance: In recognition of the long hours worked by House Staff, the SDHSA negotiated an on-call “Meal Allowance” for represented House Staff. Under recent Contract, the Meal Allowance is increased to twelve dollars ($12.00) per meal. Pursuant to the latest Contract:
“An eligible Represented House Staff individual will receive an on-call meal allowance of twelve dollars ($12.00) per meal to be used at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) Health System cafeteria(s) in comportment with the criteria below. . . .
Meal allowance for represented House Staff individuals will be distributed as follows:
Group 1: Represented House Staff individuals taking traditional 24-hour in-house-call Weekends/Holidays: 3 meals/24 hours, Weeknights: 2 meals/24 hours
Group 2: Represented House Staff individuals working shifts; physically present in the hospital after hours. Weekends/Holidays: 2 meals/after hours shift, Weeknights: 1 meal/after hours shift
Group 3: Represented House Staff individuals taking at-home-call -Applies to first call only -Assumes on average get called in approximately half of monthly call nights
Professional Fees: Prior to 2007, the UC did not reimburse nor pay for Residents’ Licensing and Licensing renewal fees. As a result of the 2012 negotiations, SDHSA moved UCSD to agree to pay for various House Officer Professional Fees. Subsequent negotiations increased the coverage. With the 2018 Contract:
9.1 UCSD will reimburse represented House Staff for licensing and re-licensing fees paid to the California State Medical Board. These fees include the application fee, fingerprint processing fee, and the initial licensing fee. UCSD will also reimburse represented House Staff for the USMLE Step 3 Fee and for the fee associated with the Examination History Report. . . . 9.4 License Renewal – UCSD Health System will reimburse House Staff (residents and fellows) for fees paid to renew their California Medical License while training at UCSD Health System. . . . .
Lounges and Amenities: The SDHSA negotiated for the “Resident Lounges” located at the Hillcrest and Jacobs Hospitals. As part of the 2018 Contract, UCSD has agreed:
During the term of this Agreement the University agrees to maintain the Physician lounge space(s) for respite, recovery, and to promote wellness at the North and South campuses. The University will ensure that the lounge space(s) includes workstations, up to six (6) (space permitting) computers with internet access, and furnishings with the appropriate office equipment, a working printer, and supplies.
Parking: Commencing in 2005, SDHSA negotiated a 50% discount on annual Parking Permits for represented House staff. Over the years, UCSD has fought hard to take away this benefit. While still in negotiations, UCSD unilaterally cancelled the Parking Discount. As a result, SDHSA has filed an Unfair (Employment) Practice Charge with PERB alleging that UCSD has broken applicable law. This litigation is ongoing. We will report our progress in this regard on a regular basis.
Travel Expenses Reimbursed: § 26 of the 2015 MOU states that: “The University shall reimburse House Officers for authorized expenses incurred during required employee-related University business or travel in accordance with the requirements of the appropriate section of the UC Business and Finance Bulletin. See GME Guidelines Memo and UC Travel Reimbursement Form on Agreements Page.
Sleeping Quarters: All House Staff sleeping quarters will meet the following minimum criteria: rooms will include a bed, desk, computer, reading light, sink and toilet. Rooms will be cleaned and linens changed daily. Showers will be accessible for House Staff use on the same floor as the assigned on call quarters.
Uniforms/Laundry: SDHSA Negotiated benefits include: (1) Three (3) sets of embroidered uniforms (lab coats) will be provided to the House Officers at the time of initial appointment. Embroidery includes the House Officer’s name and department. (2) The lab coats will be laundered by UCSD Health System at no charge to the House Officer. Upon request, one (1) new embroidered lab coat may be provided each year by the UCSD Health System as a replacement for uniforms that deteriorate through normal wear and tear. (3) House Officers shall have access to three (3) sets of scrubs in accordance with UCSD Health System procedures. Certain Departments will provide two (2) additional sets of scrubs to House Staff.
Protection of Resident’s Rights: One of SDHSA’s important functions is the protection of House Staff’s rights and benefits. In recent years, the SDHSA has had to come to the table on behalf of House Staff who have claimed to have been wrongly disciplined and UC attempts to unilaterally change benefits and rights. For example, in 2014 the UCSD attempted to shift the burden of the UC having failed to properly deduct employment taxes from themselves to House Staff who had “domestic partners.” After 9 months of difficult negotiation, UCSD finally agreed to pay the back taxes, penalties and interest (along with the cost of refiling tax returns) for all represented House Staff. The important point here is that the SDHSA is there protecting House Staff in numerous ways and you need to be a Member to receive that protection. In 2014, the Fellows were not part of the SDHSA and therefore were not participatory on the settlement.
If you believe that you have an issue that the SDHSA may help you with, please feel free to contact any of the Directors.
Some Other Benefits
Discounted Legal Services From Mirowski & Associates
Mirowski & Associates has acted as the Attorney for SDHSA since 2005. As a special benefit to SDHSA Members, Mirowski & Associates offers a Twenty Percent (20%) discount on all legal services including:
Initial Conference Free: Mirowski & Associates endeavors to make sure that Residents understand the special needs of their profession and personal legal issues. To accomplish this, Attorney Paul Mirowski will meet with all SDHSA Members at his office for a free initial half hour consultation to discuss your issues. We want to make sure we understand your goals, needs and concerns.
Contract Review: As House Staff move into employment situations, they are often confronted with complex and lengthy contracts. Paul Mirowski regularly meets with House Staff to assist in the review and where necessary, negotiation and drafting of contract terms.
Professional Corporation: Many House Staff find it advisable to form a Medical Corporation from which they will offer their services. Paul Mirowski will discuss the relevant issues and assist you in forming an appropriate entity as requested.