We won!

With great joy, we announce that Stanford residents and fellows have overwhelmingly voted to unionize, with 835 yes votes (80% of all votes cast) and a 73% turnout (1049/1442 eligible voters). We are proud to claim our legal right to a seat at the table. Our vote represents our call for restoration of purpose by giving us the agency to act on our collective priorities: costs of living, family leave policies, and many more. This victory affirms that our voices matter, that we will uplift each other, and that we have voted for solidarity and action over fear and inertia.

Our victory comes amid a larger wave of housestaff organizing, as residents and fellows across the nation unite to reject exploitative and unsafe working conditions. By voting yes, our housestaff have issued a mandate that we not only improve our economic contract but also redefine our social contract as physicians. Realizing this will require ongoing, concerted effort.  

As of today, we have a legal right to bargain with the hospital on matters that will promote our wellbeing and ultimately provide more equitable, effective patient care. Even so, we recognize the enormity of the work ahead of us to achieve our mission of a durable, democratic infrastructure for physician training.  So congratulations and welcome – it’s time for meaningful change.

Next steps:

  1. Celebrate! We’re having a victory party this Friday May 6th. More details forthcoming but please RSVP now at bit.ly/SHCUnionWin to get updates, and help us plan for enough food/drink! Feel free to share out the invite below.
  2. Get informed: we’ll be hosting a housestaff-wide town hall in the next couple of weeks to answer questions and get everybody ready for the next phase – bargaining! More details to come.
  3. Get ready: We want representation from every single department on our bargaining team. We’ll be sending more information about how the bargaining team and other teams will be structured, but start thinking about how you’d like to get involved! Feel free to contact anyone on the organizing committee or send us a message here.

(As far as other logistics – we’re still awaiting the actual certification from the NLRB which will take at least a week. Following that, there will be more information on how to actually join as a member of the union!)

Update 5/11/2022: We are officially certified! PDF below. Some key reminder language from this document about bargaining obligations:

The employer is not precluded from changing bargaining unit employees’ terms and conditions during the pendency of post-election proceedings, as long as the employer (a) gives sufficient notice to the labor organization concerning the proposed change(s); (b) negotiates in good faith with the labor organization, upon request; and (c) good faith bargaining between the employer and the labor organization leads to agreement or overall lawful impasse.

…potential liabilities if the employer unilaterally alters bargaining unit employees’ terms and conditions of employment during the pendency of post-election proceedings. Thus, typically, if an employer makes post-election changes in employees’ wages, hours, or other terms and conditions of employment without notice to or consultation with the labor organization that is ultimately certified as the employees’ collective-bargaining representative, it violates Section 8(a)(1) and (5) of the National Labor Relations Act since such changes have the effect of undermining the labor organization’s status as the statutory representative of the employees. This is so even if the changes were motivated by sound business considerations and not for the purpose of undermining the labor organization. As a remedy, the employer could be required to: 1) restore the status quo ante; 2) bargain, upon request, with the labor organization with respect to these changes; and 3) compensate employees, with interest, for monetary losses resulting from the unilateral implementation of these changes, until the employer bargains in good faith with the labor organization, upon request, or bargains to overall lawful impasse.

Stanford Health Care Union Certification