CIR is a very visible force at Mount Sinai St. Lukes and West Hospitals. This past year we entered into contract negotiations with Mount Sinai. Through the dedication and support of the majority of our residents, many of who were able to attending a majority of our meetings with management, we were able to negotiate for much deserved salary increases as well as paternity leave and increases in our educational allowances.
I have learned that CIR is a union made strong by the interest and involvement of its residents. If residents are brought together by a common goal, CIR is able to assist in the achievement of that goal. CIR is not only a organization that supports our residents at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and West, it is also a large multidisciplinary community that any resident or residency program can utilize to raise a topic of interest and achieve a common goal for the betterment of our residents and patient population. We look to improve the lives and wellbeing of all our residents from all departments and the lives and wellbeing of our surrounding communities and CIR gives us the forum to bring these matters to attention of our peers and hospital management and achieve success.
CIR needs to share the successes that it has achieved, both big and small, at it’s member hospitals. Resident wellbeing is paramount and communicating what one hospital was able to achieve is essential in making residents in other hospital systems realize that they have a voice and that that voice is powerful and can garner results. I think that sending outside delegates who recently went through contract negotiations to hospitals who will will be shortly entering the contract negotiation process to talk about their successes and what did and did not work would be invaluable.
Despite the extreme amounts of stress residents are under, a common goal always brings us together, which is our compassion. This compassion is not only for our patients but also towards each other. Our compassion is one of the ultimate reasons most of us went into medicine. I firmly believe that it’s the small things that matter. A smile, a hug, a kind word, all sometimes make the biggest impact. With that, I like to say to keep things straightforward and make an endeavor to pursue goals that might not benefit you directly but overall improves the lives of others around you. I want to raise awareness that when things don’t seem to be fair or done in a correct way, that you take note of it and that you think of ways to improve the situation. Realize that maybe a change needs to be made and remember that CIR and all its residents is always there to assist in making that change. The best way to share this is by establishing more open communication channels between CIR chapters and their regional and national delegates.
Dissolution of labor unions in the United States would allow for many of the large hospital systems to dictate terms that would likely be unfavorable to many of our residents. It also weakens the position of other non-CIR residency programs by not providing a higher industry standard of benefits and wages that outside hospitals are endeavoring to match. I believe that CIR should show our support of upholding the spirit of labor union laws.