Frontline Vermont Doctors Win 20% Pay Increase in First-Ever Union Contract


The UVMMC physicians’ win comes amidst a wave of resident organizing, with almost 8,000 housestaff organizing to join CIR/SEIU in the past year

Burlington, VT – Last week, resident and fellow physicians at the University of Vermont Medical Center celebrated a momentous victory after reaching a tentative agreement with hospital administrators on a truly exceptional first contract. Represented by the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIRSEIU), this is one of the strongest first contracts negotiated by the union.

As the only teaching hospital in the state, the Burlington physicians hold a critical role as primary providers for some of Vermont’s most vulnerable communities. “We are so proud of what we accomplished through bargaining and our organizing over the past several months,” said Dr. Michael Madrid, a third-year resident in pathology at UVMMC. “We formed our union to win the compensation and sustainable working conditions we needed to continue caring for all Vermonters, and that’s exactly what we achieved with this first contract”.

Along with a total 20% salary increase over the 2.5-year contract, the Vermont residents secured many of their core priorities, including an extra week of vacation, an additional week of paid caregiver leave, a $200 stipend for unplanned backup shifts, a new base pay for moonlighting and crucial health and safety measures as well as equipment key to their specialties such as surgical loupes and protective lead. The physicians will also see improved meal allowances, an $1,800 education stipend along with many more key benefits.

With residents often saddled with $250,000 in average student loan debt and regularly working over 80 hours a week, and cost of living rapidly rising in Chittenden County, securing fair compensation and sustainable working conditions was a top priority for the CIR member-led bargaining team. The doctors are confident with their new contract, they have helped set a standard for what a residency program that prioritizes both patients and providers looks like.

UVMMC residents and fellows first joined CIR/SEIU in April 2022 and are the union’s first chapter in Vermont.

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 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.