Bronx Frontline Doctors Overwhelmingly Vote to Re-Establish Union


Over 1,200 Doctors at Montefiore Medical Center Win Representation

Press Release

For Immediate Release

Press Contact: Dara Streit

E: dara@telegraphpr.comM: 415-914-5616

Bronx, New York City, NY – Resident physicians at Montefiore Medical Center, one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City, successfully won union representation with a supermajority of 82% voting in favor of joining the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU). This victory will re-establish a union presence at Montefiore more than four decades after their original union, one of the first nationwide, was removed. 

Resident-led organizing efforts began early in the pandemic, when housestaff were forced to fill in gaps in patient care with no additional support. Now Montefiore residents and fellows—who serve as primary care providers for a largely working class community of color— look forward to advocating for improved working conditions and quality patient care through their union.

“This organizing effort is a huge first step toward community-conscious healthcare that meets the needs of patients and doctors alike,” said Dr. Sejal Shah, a second-year resident in Internal Medicine at Montefiore. “We are one of the Bronx’s only safety net hospitals; it is crucial that we are able to advocate effectively to maintain quality care and working standards.”

As the ongoing physician and nursing shortage continues to impact hospitals nationwide, residents and fellows at the hospital hope to address these critical issues by working with hospital management at the bargaining table.

“After being one of the last programs in the Bronx without union representation, winning a seat at the table and joining our unionized peers is long overdue,” said Dr. Isuree Katugampala, a third year pediatrics resident. “We are proud to build on the incredible legacy of our predecessors, and progress further toward a compassionate, equitable model of care.”

Montefiore resident physicians’ historic campaign has garnered wide support from healthcare workers, communities groups and elected officials, including Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz and State Senator Gustavo Rivera.

“Congratulations to the residents and fellows at Montefiore for their successful unionization effort,” said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. “This is a victory not only for these vital healthcare workers, but also for our friends, family, and neighbors who rely on Montefiore for their medical care needs. Kudos to CIR-SEIU and all those who helped organize this effort, and I look forward to an earnest and responsible bargaining conversation between Montefiore and this new union.”

“I am absolutely thrilled to see Montefiore’s resident physicians receive the recognition they deserve. This victory is not just theirs, but a win for everyone who lives and seeks care in this borough. The Bronx is a union town and I am honored to welcome new members to our union family. I look forward to supporting them as they bargain for the fair contract they deserve,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera.

In addition to joining their peers at other unionized residency programs throughout the city, the physicians will join their hospital’s well-established union community. This includes nurses represented by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) and hospital employees represented by SEIU 1199. 

The Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) is the largest housestaff union in the United States. A local of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), representing over 24,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities.