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18 month contract dispute with physicians settled

Any Georgia company that deals with employment contracts can understand how delicate and time consuming negotiations can be. Therefore, it may not be difficult to understand the contentious nature of the contract dispute that has gone on for 18 months between an out-of-state hospital, a physician's union and the medical center's Committee of Residents and Interns. The controversy surrounded a bonus tied to the cost-of-living and a demand for the hospital to establish a fund for doctors to purchase equipment and medications needed for patient care.

Doctors claimed the raise was needed in order to offset rising rents in the area surrounding the hospital. Moreover, the patient care fund they propose is said to exist in budgets of other hospitals across their state and the country. Recently, a compromise was reached on a contract that will last through May 2016.

The dispute intensified when the California hospital, located in Oakland, partnered with another hospital in San Francisco which offered higher salaries and a stipend for housing. Even though the salaries and bonuses are still not on par with the other hospital, both sides agreed to the compromise. Funds from another program were redirected into the patient care fund, which will be used on an as needed basis after a physician shows there is a need for the equipment or medications requested.

The contract dispute was resolved after several intense negotiating sessions. Understandably, the ability to compromise was critical in reaching an agreement. Georgia businesses who are involved in employment contract negotiations may need to be willing to compromise as well. However, that does not mean that any decisions made should put the business itself in jeopardy. All of the legal and business ramifications of any agreement need to be properly vetted before any agreement is executed.

Source: eastbayexpress.com, "Children's Hospital Oakland Settles Contract Dispute With Resident Physicians", Sam Levin, Oct. 14, 2014

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