CHICAGO - Physicians for Responsible Negotiation has won its first organizing effort, with 77% of eligible staff physician voters at The Wellness Plan selecting PRN as their collective bargaining unit. The staff physicians at The Wellness Plan, a Detroit, Michigan-based health maintenance organization were the first in this country to have the option of selecting PRN as their representative. PRN was formed by the American Medical Association in November, 1999. The Wellness Plan physicians contacted PRN shortly thereafter and requested formal certification of their collective bargaining rights.
The Wellness Plan opposed the organizing effort, and tried to persuade the National Labor Relations Board that all of the staff physicians were supervisors and therefore ineligible for collective bargaining rights. The Wellness Plan lost on this issue after a trial in early January and also lost on the appeal it filed in Washington, D.C. On March 9, 2000, the physicians voted 27-8 in favor of representation by PRN.
After the physicians' ballots were counted on Thursday, March 9, 2000, Susan Hershberg Adelman, M.D., PRN President, announced, "the Wellness Plan physicians are a group of dedicated physicians who are very concerned about protecting the quality of care their patients receive. They have seen the challenges that confront HMOs in Michigan and they know that they have solutions for some of these problems, but no one was listening to them. Now, they have a collective voice and a patients' rights agenda that cannot be ignored."
"PRN's mission is to represent physicians at the bargaining table and that is where the action will begin immediately. PRN's interest is in securing a collective bargaining agreement that guarantees working conditions where these physicians can deliver the quality of care their patients deserve. We know that the physicians and The Wellness Plan share many goals, priorities and concerns. Accordingly, we look forward to prompt and productive collective bargaining that delivers the win-win results its physicians' patients need," Dr. Adelman said.
For more information contact:
Susan Hershberg Adelman, MD, President