As a delegate for 3 years I have seen the powerful voice CIR can be for residents and fellows. While a prominent member of the collective bargaining team during our last contract negotiation we successfully achieved the first pay-increase for interns in over 10 years. Other CIR successes I have been fortunate to be involved with include a $300,000 QI fund, expansion of County payouts for EMR, a medical expense reimbursement fund, and approval for a resident lounge among many others. Each success is a powerful testament to the impact our union can have.
The most inspiring aspect of serving as a CIR delegate has been collaborating with fellow residents to improve our work experience. For each of us this comes in different forms. This collaboration continues to teach me the particular challenges my co-residents face in their respective programs and departments.
Despite the differences in our programs and hospitals, much of our day-to-day work is regulated at the national level by the ACGME. In order to improve common program requirements, family leave and support, and other aspects of our job we need to establish and maintain meaningful relationships with the ACGME Resident Council and Board of Directors. My dream is to see our democratic voice seated at the table with those that control our training. As such, I hope to use my experience as the acting Graduate Medical Education Committee CIR representative.
To help our residents achieve their goals in organizing, bargaining, and advocacy I intend to use lessons learned from previous successes. With fellow colleagues I recently organized a winning vote at our institution for our sustained financial viability. Our previous contract negotiations were a resounding success with significant increases to our salaries and benefits. Finally, I have been interviewed several times for Spanish-language media advocating for our immigrant community in Los Angeles County.
Our union is an example of organized labor cutting across the spectrum of the increasingly stratified and hierarchical workforce. We show that organized labor has a place for all workers, whether they are a professional or tradesperson. As such it is important for us to collaborate, be politically active, and further democratize the workforce. As a VP of the Southern California North Region, I hope to continue helping residents elsewhere go through the unionization and collective bargaining process, and organize their own advocacy initiatives.