Press Contact: Dara Streit
George Washington University Residents and Fellows Win Union Representation with CIR/SEIU in Landslide Victory
Washington, DC – In a landslide victory, the resident and fellow physicians employed by George Washington University today won their union election with 253-16 housestaff voting in favor of joining the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR/SEIU). With their victory, GW residents are now members of the largest unionized program in the District.
Following a widely-covered organizing effort that kicked off early last fall, the frontline DC doctors are now looking forward to negotiating a first contract to secure improved patient care standards and sustainable working conditions so they can continue serving their community. “This win is not just ours, but it’s for our patients and future GW residents and fellows,” said Dr. Maryssa Miller, an internal medicine resident. “Through our union, we hope to help transform our medical training into a system that supports and empowers residents, allowing us and our patients to thrive.”
Despite regularly working over 80 hours a week in one of DC’s largest safety net hospitals, GW residents say that they are overworked and underpaid. In addition to their core responsibilities as physicians, they are frequently required to take on additional roles to cover staffing gaps. “We are responsible for caring for an incredibly vulnerable community, and many of our patients are high-risk, ” said Dr. Katia DaSilva, an Ob/Gyn resident. “We’re looking forward to advocating for the resources we need to do our best to provide quality care for the DMV.”
GW’s victory comes at a time when resident organizing is gaining momentum across the US. In the past year alone, housestaff from eight different health systems, comprising over 5,200 people, have joined CIR/SEIU. Next week, 1,400 residents and fellows at the University of Pennsylvania—who first announced their effort to join CIR in February—will vote in their NLRB election.
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 25,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities.