A majority of the 1,400-member Joint Council of Interns and Residents have cast ballots authorizing a strike at Los Angeles County hospitals if contract talks with county officials collapse, the organization's leader said Wednesday.
Don DeMoro, the council's executive director, said an overwhelming majority of interns and residents at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center voted Wednesday to sanction a walkout. That followed a similar vote several weeks ago by their counterparts at Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center, with interns and residents at Harbor General Hospital expected to follow suit in the near future, he said.
The proposed walkout, which would require a 10-day notice by the council, comes as both sides seek to replace the two-year agreement that expired in September.
The major sticking point, DeMoro said, is a county plan to shift the salaries of incoming interns from the county payroll to individual hospitals, a move the council claims would prevent the union from representing the interns and residents. The union has filed suit to stop the project.