New York City–Announcing their 99% strike authorization vote from their fellow Mount Sinai residents’ picket line, Mount Sinai Morningside/West resident physicians, unionized with the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIRSEIU), just became the fourth residency program in New York and the fifth nationwide to authorize a strike since April.
The about 500 CIR resident physicians at Morningside/West have been in negotiations with Mount Sinai since January, and say they are struggling to make ends meet while working often 80 hours a week. Demanding pay parity with non-union residents at Mount Sinai Hospital, like their Elmhurst counterparts, they say they are sick of corporate healthcare tactics that feel like a deliberate strategy to undermine their union.
“Mount Sinai has maintained a two tiered system of residency for far too long,” said Dr. Brian Brown. “Does this not feel like Sinai discouraging their non-unionized residents from unionizing by upping their pay while keeping ours low? In the wake of COVID, residents are at a breaking point, but they are rising up across the country, and joining CIR by the thousands, to fight for a better, more humane future for patients and healthcare workers. I have to believe that our bosses are scared when they see the power we’re building as a union.”
The Morningside and West physicians’ strike authorization vote follows strike authorizations for CIR doctors at MediSys-managed Flushing and Jamaica Hospitals in Queens, Elmhurst Hospital, and Alameda Health System in Oakland, California. The physicians at Flushing and Jamaica recently ratified their new union contract after averting an unfair labor practice strike with a midnight deal last week, while the Alameda physicians averted their own ULP strike just days later to also win a groundbreaking tentative agreement. The Elmhurst physicians are on day two of a five-day ULP strike that is the first for CIR physicians since 1990.
The Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) is the largest house staff union in the United States. A local of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), representing over 27,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities.