92% of Voting Resident Physicians at Elmhurst Hospital, Employed By the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Vote Yes to Authorize ULP Strike
Queens– Elmhurst Hospital resident doctors authorized a strike vote yesterday, citing pay parity and Mount Sinai’s failure to bargain in good faith among their top issues. Represented by the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), the Elmhurst resident physicians, numbering about 170, could bring the total number of striking doctors in Queens to almost 500 if they move to strike.
In bargaining with Mount Sinai since last July, the physicians say Mount Sinai is shortchanging its union doctors by paying them less than non-unionized counterparts at Mount Sinai Hospital. The residents feel a fair contract is urgently needed in order for them to continue to provide the best possible care to their patients without sacrificing their own well-being. CIR has also filed ULPs due to Mount Sinai’s failure to bargain in good faith.
“Mount Sinai residents perform the same job across our hospitals,” said Dr. Tanathun Kajornsakchai. “Yet Mount Sinai is paying its union doctors who work in crucial safety net hospitals less. Striking is the last thing that we want to do but we feel we will have no choice if Mount Sinai does not address our demands.”
Inspired by the gains and workplace protections that NYSNA and other union workers were able to achieve while on strike earlier this year, residents at Elmhurst are also asking for transportation benefits and hazard pay. Mount Sinai physicians at Morningside and West Hospitals in Manhattan are also demanding pay and benefits parity from the health system.
“Our commitment is to our patients. And Mount Sinai’s commitment should be ensuring that their frontline healthcare providers have what they need to deal with the challenges of practicing medicine in a system that is struggling with worker shortages,” said Dr. Kajornsakchai. “Voting yes to authorize a strike is just the first step in this process and Mount Sinai could avoid a strike by meeting our demands. We’ve held rallies, unity breaks and submitted petitions and still have been made to feel like we’re not being heard.”
The Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) is the largest house staff 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.