Mass General Brigham Resident Physicians Win Their NLRB Election, Joins CIRSEIU 


Nearly 10,000 Resident Physicians Have Joined CIR The Past Year

Boston, MA – In a momentous victory, the resident and fellow physicians at Mass General Brigham (MGB), home to one of the nation’s largest residency programs, voted to join the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR-SEIU). With 75% voting in favor of representation, the Boston physicians will be the very first group of unionized workers at MGB’s flagship institution, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). The election results must still be certified by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) before becoming final.

After first going public with their union effort in March, MGB housestaff endured months of aggressive anti-union campaigning from their employer, including captive audience meetings, 1-1s as well as emails and texts from health system leadership providing misleading information about what it means to unionize. 

“This campaign was not only historic, it was difficult. The incredible rise in residents and fellows organizing is not a surprise to us. We’ve seen how much and how often housestaff have had to fight to advocate for what we need to both provide for ourselves and our families, and what we need to be the best that we can for our patients,” said Dr. Sarah Brown, an internal medicine resident at MGH. “At every turn we have been bombarded by anti-union messages but we prevailed, and we are thrilled to be able to stand with residents who also most recently organized to join CIR at UPenn and George Washington University.”

Resident-led organizing efforts began early in the pandemic, when housestaff were forced to fill in gaps in patient care with no additional support. Now MGB residents and fellows—who serve as primary care providers for a large portion of Massachusetts— look forward to advocating for improved working conditions and quality patient care through their union.

For CIR/SEIU, this NLRB election marks the twelfth residency program to join the union since 2019. For their part, Mass General Brigham is one of the largest and most prestigious residency programs in the country. The resident physicians say that unionizing will only serve to enhance the quality of their program and that they are looking forward to negotiating a fair contract. “We’re all proud to be housestaff at MGB. There’s no denying that matching here comes with a certain amount of prestige. But we can’t pay our rent or match the increased cost of living with prestige, and we certainly can’t advocate for ourselves and our patients with it either,” said Dr. Pietro Miozzo, a third-year resident physician in pediatrics.

“For Boston to be a strong and growing home for working families, we need a strong and growing labor movement,” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. “Congrats to the MGB interns, residents, and fellows on their hard-won victory for voice and dignity on the job.”

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 30,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities.