Washington, D.C. — About 170 front-line healthcare providers at Unity Health Care have taken the first step in unionizing under the auspices of the Union of American Physicians and Dentists (UAPD).
Unity Health Care is the largest network of community health centers in the District of Columbia and serves over 100,000 patients annually across 21 clinics.
The action marks an important milestone for doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and mental health clinicians who say Unity is eroding their ability to deliver quality care by forcing them to spend less time with their patients.
“Providers at Unity Health Care deserve a voice in all important healthcare decisions,” said Dr. Stuart Bussey, UAPD’s president. “Management telling providers to spend less time with patients so they can make more money is just wrong.”
Unionization would affect providers at all of Unity Health Care’s community clinics, homeless outreach clinics, and school-based health centers in all wards across the nation’s capital as well as the District of Columbia Department of Corrections.
Providers say their efforts to improve patient care have been met with unwarranted discipline from executive leadership. Additionally, policies implemented by executive leadership have created a rift between providers and patients. While providers currently struggle to provide care for 24 scheduled patients a day, executives are pushing for providers to schedule 30 patients a day to increase profit margins.
Providers are drawn to Unity because of its mission to care for the underserved community in Washington, D.C. However, Unity’s lack of leadership, accountability, and transparency causes many providers to leave within a few months. The providers who remain suffer repeated moral injury from not having the resources and support to adequately care for their patients.
By unionizing with UAPD, providers aim to address these issues collectively and advocate for improved working conditions. Providers want to steer Unity Health Care back to being a resilient organization known for providing hope, compassion, and quality care to the community. Patients deserve better, and Unity Health Care providers will not allow mismanagement and greed to undermine patient care.
About the Union of American Physicians & Dentists
The Union of American Physicians & Dentists (UAPD) has organized physicians and providers since 1972. With more than 5,000 members in California, New Mexico, and Washington State, UAPD is the largest union of licensed physicians and advanced practice clinicians nationwide. Members work for state and county governments, large healthcare organizations and nonprofit health systems, as well as providers in private practice. Affiliated with AFSCME and AFL-CIO, UAPD brings the strength of the labor movement to the aid of providers in the interest of better medicine for all. Learn more at www.uapd.com.
Vivi Le, Communications Manager