I have been a delegate since intern year and was reelected as a PGY-2. My hospital had the worst paid residents in The Bronx, so I decided to become intimately involved in the contract bargaining sessions that saw me and my peers get a pay raise that brought us much closer to the average salary in the region. I can say that we are finally gaining a living wage thanks to the organizing efforts of CIR, but we still have a lot of work to be done on our hands.
I have learned the value of teamwork when dealing with entities that have a disproportionate amount of power compared to individual members. As a part of CIR, you know you’re not alone, and that you will always have someone backing you up.
Thanks to my experience as a delegate, I learned that CIR can do better if we add a personal touch to their communications. There is no substitute for a having a actual human being, not an email, sitting down with you and explaining what the next steps will be. That tends to bring people over to your side.
I intend to help the organization grow in its collective bargaining efforts by using the experience I earned to guide our new members on how to avoid common mistakes and how to present a united front towards the hospital administration.
CIR should join forces with other unions and develop a strategy that would allow everyone on us the attack on unions by actively proselytizing, growing our numbers, and coordinating strategies by legal challenges and by an aggressive PR campaign, showing that unions are the voice of united labor.