A group of medical professionals working at the thirteen clinics that make up the Northeast Valley Health Corporation (NEVHC) voted last week to unionize, becoming part of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD) in the process. Today, representatives of UAPD formally filed a request to bargain with NEVHC. “We are excited to welcome NEVHC providers to our union and look forward to start the negotiation process right away,” said UAPD Chief Negotiator Steve Cook, who works from UAPD’s Los Angeles office.
Approximately 80 physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants who are employed by NEVHC have gained the right to bargain over their wages, benefits, and working conditions in light of last week’s vote in favor of unionization. Staff pointed to over-scheduling, the absence of regular pay increases, and a lack of responsiveness on part of NEVHC administration as some of the reasons they pursued unionization. By some estimates, NEVHC was overbooking provider schedules by as much as 40% each day.
“For years we’ve felt like NEVHC didn’t listen to our concerns,” said Dr. Wendy Fields, a pediatrician who voted in favor of the union. “Organizing with an experienced union like UAPD has helped us articulate our issues and start on the process of getting them resolved.”
NEVHC medical providers work in one of thirteen accredited health care sites in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys. The non-profit holds several contracts with Los Angeles County and serves over 60,000 community members. Tax documents show that in seven of the last eight years, NEVHC had annual revenue increases ranging from 6.5% to more than 23%.