What’s the deal with the membership card?

  • FAQ

Our union is only as strong as our members – being a member will add to our collective strength, help us stand up to an employer like Stanford, and allow you to have a say on what we do with this power. A stronger, united membership gives us the leverage to win what we’re fighting for during bargaining.

  • Everyone will benefit from the contract we win, regardless of whether or not you’re a member, so non-members still pay a fair share fee (~1.4% compared to 1.6% of base pay for dues). This is a difference of only a few hundred dollars per year, and stronger membership means we can negotiate a stronger contract. So why not become a member to fight for a better contract and have direct voting power?
  • Dues/fees are not deducted until AFTER we ratify our first contract!

To join as a member, you need to sign the membership card (https://bit.ly/StanfordMembershipCard). (if there are issues – turn off your pop-up blocker).

Become a member

Wait, didn’t I already sign a card?

  • The membership card is different from the union authorization card you may have signed in winter of 2021-2022 before the election. ~ 1000 housestaff signed union authorization cards to signal to Stanford and the NLRB that we wanted union representation, and that’s what led to our election. Now that we are unionized, you have to sign this card to actually become a member!
  • If you’re not sure if you signed the membership card yet – check your email for “You signed: “Stanford Health Care_Dues & Membership Authorization Form_2022”, or email lpadilla@cirseiu.org to ask!

Why should I join as a member?

  • If you want a say in your union (like voting to approve our union contract), you have to be a member!
  • Membership shows that you support your co-residents and fellows on the bargaining team, and having a strong membership signals to Stanford we’re a strong union that’s willing to act.
  • Plus since you’ll benefit from the contract we win, you’ll have to pay a fair share fee regardless of whether you choose to be a member or not. So why not become a member and be able to have direct voting power?

When do I have to sign?

  • Sign now rather than later – a strong membership base gives us better leverage at the start of negotiations to win a good contract! But if you need more time to make a decision, there is no deadline.

I’m graduating, does it make a difference if I sign?

  • Yes – we want to ratify a contract by the end of this academic year (plus, other shops have gotten retroactive pay to the beginning of the year). Regardless, your membership is an important sign of support. Graduating residents and fellows make up a big chunk of the unit, and we need your solidarity!

Dues FAQs

When do I start paying dues? 

  • Dues are 1.6% of our base pay (not including stipends) and are not paid until we have bargained for, won, and ratified a contract (and we wouldn’t ratify a contract whose wins didn’t outweigh the cost of dues). 

Why should I pay them?

  • Dues are used to give our union resources. Current CIR staff contributing to our campaign (before we’ve even started paying dues) include: full-time organizers to help guide our campaign since 2020, negotiators, lawyers, communications and PR, folks to manage data and do research for our contract, and more.  This magnitude of work is not possible without staff and we use dues to pay them. Dues cannot be used for political funds because that’s illegal (see COPE below…)

What’s this SEIU COPE section at the bottom?

  • COPE is the Committee on Political Education. Unions often take political action to advocate for their members on a larger scale, but union dues cannot be used for political means, so we have a separate COPE fund. These funds help support actions such as SEIU lobbying for $1 billion in California healthcare worker retention pay (up to a $1500 bonus per worker) – and CIR fought to make sure residents were included too!
  • COPE contributions are OPTIONAL. If you do not want to contribute, just leave the boxes blank!

Will dues ever go up?

  • It would take a vote from all housetaff leaders at all CIR shops to raise dues and because they’re all housestaff, they know how tight money is for folks.
  • CIR also presents their budget to housestaff leaders yearly for them to vote on approving the budget so there’s no blind use of our dues.

Independent unions have lower dues.

  • Independent unions typically have little to no staff support except for a lawyer who can raise their fees at any time. University of Washington and UCSD’s unions affiliated with CIR in the last few years for that reason. Plus CIR staff also help form new unions so residency union power can grow. 

Will I retroactively have to pay dues this year? That’s hard to budget for/I’m graduating next year.

  • It depends on things like if we win a raise with retroactive pay. That retroactive pay will have dues deducted, but if we don’t win that, we won’t.

Will CIR collect personal information like our banking information in order to collect dues?

  • No, they’ll simply tell HR’s payroll office who they need to deduct dues from and who they need to deduct agency fees from.

So that means my PD can find out I’m a member?

  • We’re aiming for a 90%+ rate of union membership so you won’t be in the minority. Plus there’s legal protections for union activity that CIR will provide support on in the minimal case people are targeted for being union members.
  • And they’re not directly getting a list; they’d have to request it by HR’s payroll office and it’s not exactly HR’s priority to do that.

I’m worried that CIR is just greedy and will collect dues without trying too hard to vouch for us because it’s required for us to pay something.

  • We’ve worked with staff from CIR since the end of 2020 and they’re certainly not being skimpy with their help. 

Does CIR have other ways of making money? Like selling information to 3rd parties? It seems suspicious they’re able to support so many hospitals on dues money alone.

  • No, they only get revenue from dues. They have over 20,000 members so hospitals are able to be supported from dues. If a lot of people opted out, budgeting would be harder, but they wouldn’t resort to selling information to 3rd parties. 

I feel weird paying to a 3rd party.

  • CIR is housestaff run and staff supported. We are our union. 

I still feel like this is a lot of money to throw…

OK, I’m convinced. Where can I sign up?

Become a member