History of the HOA
How did the HOA become the bargaining unit for house officers?
In 1966, a group of interns, residents and post-doctoral fellows connected with the University of Michigan Hospital and its affiliates to organize the University of Michigan Interns-Residents Association. The Association attempted to bargain with University Hospital Administrators concerning the compensation of interns and residents. The University of Michigan rejected the Association's right to collectively bargain.
By April of 1970, the Association filed a petition to be recognized by the Michigan Employment Relations Commission (MERC). Formal hearings were held and the transcripts of those hearings are over 700 pages in length and included 28 exhibits that were admitted into evidence. It wasn't until March of 1971 that the decision by MERC was made to recognize the Association as a labor organization within the meaning of PERA (Public Employees Relations Act) and that as a public employer, the University of Michigan must recognize the Association and submit to collective bargaining.
MERC held an election in June of 1971 and the Association was supported by the membership with 296 yes votes, out of the 415 individuals that voted. The University appealed the election on the grounds that interns, residents, and post-doctoral fellows were students and not employees. In 1972 the Court of Appeals reversed MERC's decision. MERC and the Association appealed the court's decision.
The contention of the Regents was that it considered itself autonomous under Michigan's 1850 Constitution. However, the 1963 Constitution deemed the resolution of public employee disputes a matter of public policy. In spite of its independence, the Board of Regents remains a part of the state government of Michigan.
In February of 1973, the Judgment of the Court of Appeals upheld MERC's findings and affirmed its ruling that those employed as interns, residents, and post-doctoral fellows are entitled to representation. The Association was granted exclusive bargaining rights with the Regents and incorporated with the state as the University of Michigan House Officers Association (HOA) in 1974.