Resident Physicians at Elmhurst Hospital, Employed By the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Set Dates for a Five-Day ULP Strike Beginning May 22
Queens–The resident physicians who risked their lives at the very center of the COVID pandemic in the U.S. have sent dates for a planned unfair labor practice strike to their employer, saying that they are fed up after almost a year of bargaining with a corporate health system that brings in $11 billion in profits. The physicians, unionized with the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), make up to $7000 less annually than their non-union counterparts working at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, while working in an essential public hospital through Sinai’s partnership with H+H.
While bargaining consistently in bad faith, Mount Sinai continues to refuse to bring the physicians’ salaries up to parity with Mount Sinai Hospital residents or to agree to hazard pay language for the doctors who brought Queens through the worst of COVID. The physicians say that this behavior from Mount Sinai feels both racist and anti-union.
“It feels so unjust that we, as largely immigrant doctors serving this working class immigrant community in Queens, have to beg to get what we need to pay our rent, and from a corporation like Mount Sinai that touts its commitment to New York communities,” said Dr. Tanathun Kajornsakchai. “Mount Sinai should invest in the doctors caring for so many people in Queens who cannot get care anywhere else.”
CIR has filed multiple unfair labor practice charges against Mount Sinai for its failure to bargain fairly with the Elmhurst physicians, including for unreasonably delaying bargaining for a period of four months, and refusing to furnish information requested by the union.
“It is disappointing and disheartening that Mount Sinai is refusing to agree to pay parity for Elmhurst Hospital residents,” said Dr. Irfa Khan. “We absolutely do not want to strike, but we feel as if we’ll have no choice if Mount Sinai doesn’t start bargaining in good faith with us doctors so we can agree on a fair contract. We were here when Mount Sinai needed us, where is Mount Sinai when the Elmhurst doctors and community needs them?”
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 27,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities.