OAKLAND - Union-represented resident physicians at UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital Oakland are taking a no-confidence vote on hospital management's negotiator in the slow-moving contract talks between the two sides, which have been going on for 16 months.
Asella Donovan-Blood, a spokeswoman for the Committee of Interns and Residents, which represents 90 resident physicians at the hospital, said residents are taking the vote on Konrad Jones, the hospital's senior vice president for professional and support services, because talks have broken down.
Donovan-Blood said residents are upset because the hospital's management refused to listen to the residents' counter-proposal to an offer that management made on Tuesday, even though elected officials such as Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley and Oakland City Councilman Dan Kalb were in the room.
She said the purpose of the no-confidence vote is to get the hospital to return to the bargaining table to listen to the union's counter-proposal.
The hospital and the union have been negotiating on a new contract since April 2013.
The union says the key issues are having competitive wages, a walk-through of the hospital to ensure equipment is working and a hospital-funded patient care fund to help bridge the gap in care for vulnerable patients.
Donovan-Blood said the hospital's proposal on Tuesday calls for a three-year contract that includes a one-time $500 ratification bonus but no salary increase.
She said the union doesn't like that and said if management can't offer a salary increase, the union would like to have a shorter contract.
Children's Hospital officials couldn't immediately be reached for comment today but they previously said the reason they aren't offering a salary increase to residents is that federal funding for training of pediatricians and pediatric specialists has decreased significantly and there is a nearly $4 million deficit in the hospital's graduate medical education payment program.
Donovan-Blood said the results of the no-confidence vote won't be announced until Friday or next week.
She said the union filed an unfair labor practice charge against the hospital with the National Labor Relations Board last month and is waiting for a decision.
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