AMA UNION: Not Your Father’s Collective Bargaining Unit
The new American Medical Association union, Physicians For Responsible Negotiations, won't be following in the footsteps of other "rough-and-tumble" unions like the Teamsters, the Chicago Tribune reports. The AMA, which announced the union's name PRN, known in medical circles also to mean "take 'as needed,'" on Thursday, is not "going out and actively organizing physicians," according to its president Dr. Thomas Reardon. Instead, Dr. Reardon said, the collective bargaining group is "trying to offer [doctors] an alternative to traditional labor unions, which are now out trying to recruit physicians." Additionally, the union will not strike or "even petition the National Labor Relations Board once enough doctors are ready to sign up." What the union will offer doctors is "a do-it-yourself organizational structure," a 20-page constitution and assistance in the form of two internal staff members on PRN's governing board, if the doctors wish to create a local collective bargaining unit. Eric Scherzer, associate director of the Committee of Interns and Residents, which is part of the National Doctors Alliance in New York, said the new union must prove itself and "demonstrate that [it] can effectively represent the interests of doctors" (Japsen, 9/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.