We anticipate that there will be strong anti-union messaging from the administration in the months to come. This kind of messaging has been consistently seen not only against housestaff unions but unions in all industries across the country. In fact, this type of anti-union messaging is so predictable that we’ve put together a Union Busting Bingo Card so that you can keep track of just how we expect the administration to respond. (Know your rights – read more about what employers are not allowed to do).
Tap/hover over each square to see mythbusting responses to each of the anti-union messaging points that are expected. Play along, and there will be prizes for the winners! (But actually, there will be prizes.)
“YOU COULD LOSE MONEY ON DUES”
NO ONE PAYS DUES UNTIL WE RATIFY A CONTRACT WITH INCREASED BENEFITS
We won’t vote for a contract where benefits don’t outweigh the costs of dues). Dues are 1.6% of your salary ($48-$67/pay period, $96-$134/mo, $1150-$1609/year (upper range for PGY7). Dues will not increase unless we vote to increase it.
EXPECT CLASSIC ANTI-UNION LANGUAGE (BRING YOUR BINGO CARD!)
“Captive audience meetings” are a standard tactic used by the employer and anti-union firms to intimidate workers to vote against a union, by spreading fear and doubt.
“WE DON’T HAVE ROOM IN THE BUDGET”
ANTI-UNION CONSULTANTS COST $2500/DAY
Stanford previously hired the notorioius union-busting firm IRI for the ValleyCare nursing union campaign in 2018, and is expected to do the same for our campaign.
“YOU ALREADY GOT… RETIREMENT BENEFITS”
WHY IS IT ONLY 40% OF WHAT EVERY OTHER SHC EMPLOYEE GETS?
Residents have been advocating for equitable retirement benefits for years, and the collective action around the vaccine is the only thing that pushed it to fruition. Even still, we are only receiving 40% of the benefits that all other SHC employees get (we receive 2% flat + 2% matching; everyone else receives 5% flat + 5%+ matching).
HIRE UNION-BUSTING FIRMS
WHY AREN’T YOU SPENDING THAT MONEY ON YOUR PATIENTS OR EMPLOYEES?
Union-busting or “labor relations” firms cost $350/hour. 75% of employers hire a union-busting firm, spending nearly $340 million/year on such consultants (click – Union Busting: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver)
“WE’RE A FAMILY, WE CAN WORK THIS OUT TOGETHER”
THEN WHY HAVE YOU BEEN IGNORING US?
We are a ‘family’/’team members’ when it’s convenient, trainees when it’s convenient, and employees when it’s convenient – we need to be treated consistently and with respect.
“THIS WILL HURT YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR PROGRAM”
OUR UNION WILL WORK WITH OUR PROGRAMS TO ADVOCATE FOR OUR SHARED INTERESTS
Programs often face the same constraints as we do when advocating for more from the hospital. Working together with our union will increase their power to improve housestaff wellbeing and make the program more attractive to future applicants, as more and more programs are becoming unionized.
MANAGEMENT START DOING “ROUNDS”
500P HAS ROOFTOP GARDEN OFFICES FOR YOU – WHERE ARE OUR CALL ROOMS?
The block of call rooms in the original 500P designs were scrapped without housestaff approval, and there are not enough workrooms for teams to do their work.
“YOU ALREADY GOT… FERTILITY BENEFITS”
THIS IS NOT A REASON TO STOP ADVOCATING FOR MORE
The new fertility benefits expand access to the existing $10k medical/$5k pharmacy coverage to include egg freezing and use by same sex couples. While this is the right step forward, the benefits commonly do not cover the full cost of a single round of egg freezing or IVF.
PIT HOUSESTAFF AND NURSES AGAINST EACH OTHER
HOUSESTAFF AND NURSES STAND TOGETHER TO IMPROVE WORKING CONDITIONS FOR ALL
The hospital already tried to do this after the vaccine protests – we won’t fall for it this time either. CRONA (nursing union) supports Stanford housestaff/CIR 100%!!
“THIS IS UNPROFESSIONAL” ”THIS IS BAD FOR PATIENTS”
ADDRESSING PHYSICIAN BURNOUT IMPROVES PATIENT CARE
Every worker deserves a union to have a voice and maintain autonomy in their workplace. Shaming healthcare workers for wanting to unionize is unprofessional. Lack of autonomy is a leading cause of physician burnout.
“WE SUPPORT THE RIGHT TO UNIONIZE…”
GREAT – THEN RECOGNIZE OUR SUPERMAJORITY AND STOP INTERFERING
Got material for more bingo squares? Submit them here!
Got material for more bingo squares? Submit them here! (click)
“WE ALREADY GIVE YOU FOOD AT NIGHT”
IT SHOULDN’T TAKE A PANDEMIC TO REALIZE NUTRITION IS IMPORTANT
It’s also just leftover cafeteria food that would have been thrown away?
“THIS IS A SLIPPERY SLOPE…”
TOWARDS MORE PHYSICIAN EMPOWERMENT AND BETTER PATIENT CARE? LET’S GO!
I am so tired of this ‘argument’
THANKS, MY MEAL STIPEND ONLY COVERS HALF A SALAD FROM THE CAFETERIA
Our current meal stipends are $6.50 per 12 hour shift, after tax. This barely covers a small bowl of soup, and prices keep increasing.
“BUT IT’S NOT THE ANSWER AT STANFORD”
“YOU COULD END UP WITH LESS”
RETALIATION BY TAKING AWAY BENEFITS IS ILLEGAL (SO IS THREATENING)
Our current contract remains the floor. Loss of benefits like health insurance or other stipends in retaliation for union activity is prohibited.
“YOU ALREADY GET A RAISE EACH YEAR”
INFLATION WAS 7% THIS YEAR – THE COST OF LIVING RAISE WAS 3%
Our yearly cost of living raises are actually not written in our contract, and rely on the goodwill of the institution – with a union we could bargain to guarantee these raises.
“THE UNION JUST WANTS YOUR MONEY”
DUES ARE 1.6% ($48-67/PAY PERIOD) AND PROVIDE RESOURCES FOR YOUR UNION
We want to empower housestaff to bargain to improve their working conditions. Dues support the infrastructure of the union (legal, communications, contract organizers, etc) to help us negotiate.
“YOU ALREADY HAVE A VOICE THROUGH GMEC REPS”
YOUR REPS ORGANIZED A UNION BECAUSE YOUR VOICE WAS BEING SILENCED
Your GMEC reps are union supporters and organizers. They have seen first-hand that the current system responds to housestaff feedback with delays and dismissal, and know that a union is needed to make real change.
“WE REALLY APPRECIATE ALL THAT YOU DO!”
THEN WHY ARE WE STILL TREATED LIKE CHEAP LABOR?
Words of affirmation don’t solve workplace problems.
“YOU’LL HAVE TO STRIKE”
THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO EXERCISE OUR POWER THROUGH COLLECTIVE ACTION
Residency unions haven’t had a strike since the 1980s (to gain a $2M patient care fund at USC). If the hospital refuses to negotiate a fair contract, we can exert pressure by holding unity breaks and through PR.
“YOU’RE ALREADY THE HIGHEST PAID RESIDENTS IN THE COUNTRY”
RESIDENT SALARIES QUALIFY AS “LOW INCOME” FOR SANTA CLARA COUNTY
Adjusted for cost of living, we would have to make an extra $20k/year to be on par with other institutions across the country. Even with the $7200/year housing stipend, a single PGY 1-2 resident or a PGY 3-4 resident with a stay at home partner and a child (salary $85,820 + $7,200 = $97,820) would fall into the ‘low income’ bracket for Santa Clara County.
IMAGINE WHAT WE CAN GET ONCE WE ACTUALLY HAVE A UNION
Employers typically use “carrots” (one-time bonuses/benefits) and “sticks” (threats of punishment) to bribe or intimidate an employee to vote against the union.