Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center who are seeking to unionize have reached a stipulated agreement with management at the hospital to hold a secret ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board.

The election will be held at the hospital’s downtown campus and its midtown campus over two days, June 12-13. The results will determine whether the union is established.

The doctors who petitioned to unionize are a group of residents and fellows, physicians who are still in various stages of training but who have completed medical school. They’ve organized under the name University of Maryland Resident and Fellow Alliance, and said they have a “super majority” of support from eligible workers.

In an election conducted by the NLRB, a simple majority of people who choose to vote is required to win union recognition. For example, if only 200 residents and fellows chose to vote, 101 “yes” votes would be required for unionization.

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The doctors at UMMC became the first group of residents and fellows in Maryland to seek union representation when they petitioned for recognition in April. The UMRFA organized with the American Federation of Teachers-Maryland, which already has other medical unions in the state.

Resident physicians and fellows at the University of Maryland Medical Center are seeking to form a union. (Courtesy photo/AFT Maryland)

UMRFA organizers said there have been “intense negotiations” over the conditions of the election, adding that UMMC management is only going to “delay the inevitable” by pushing for an election instead of voluntarily recognizing the union.

UMRFA also accused UMMC of having a “union-busting” strategy, including producing a website called “UMMC Stay Informed,” where the hospital is sharing selective information about the AFT, and by hiring Littler Mendelson P.C., an employer-side labor relations law firm that says it practices “union avoidance.” The firm has represented companies such as Starbucks and Apple on labor issues.

A spokesperson for UMMC said the hospital is working with legal advisers from Littler, “to ensure our full compliance with labor laws and to ensure our leaders understand and can protect team members’ free choice regarding whether to seek union representation.”

Hospital management “has consistently and strongly advocated for full participation in the union vote” and claims otherwise are untrue, Tiffani Washington, director of media relations for UMMC, said in an email.

“Our goal is to ensure that every resident can cast a vote as a fully informed participant in an important decision that may impact all current and future participants in the residency program at UMMC,” she wrote.