As Faculty Threaten to Go Back on Strike, Rutgers Resident Physicians Will Hold Unity Break to Call out Rutgers’ Behavior and Failure to Support Their Well-Being
Newark, NJ–Rutgers resident physicians and fellows, unionized with the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), will come together and speak out at New Jersey Medical School/ University Hospital on Thursday, April 27 to call on Rutgers to agree to a fair contract, including a living wage and mental health care. Regularly working 80-hour weeks and exhausting themselves to keep patients well in understaffed hospitals–and for pay that barely exceeds the New Jersey minimum wage–the physicians say they cannot wait for a fair contract. CIR, which represents more than 1100 Rutgers physicians, has been in negotiations with the university since August.
“We shouldn’t have to sacrifice our basic well-being to complete our residency at Rutgers,” said Rutgers resident Dr. Ali Cooper. “We should be able to care for ourselves and our families, but as it stands, we are burning out in order to keep our hospitals running. As a state institution, Rutgers has a responsibility to the communities we serve in places like University Hospital, the only public hospital in New Jersey. This responsibility includes investment in its resident physicians via agreement to a fair contract with CIR.”
WHAT: Rutgers resident physicians will hold a “unity break,” where they will call on Rutgers to agree to a fair contract that supports their well-being so that they can be whole and rested as they care for their patients.
WHERE: In the courtyard at New Jersey Medical School
WHEN: On Thursday, April 27 at 5:45PM.
WHO: Resident physicians, fellows, and Assembly Member Britnee Timberlake and State Senator Linda Greenstein.
Rutgers is continuing to reject the physicians’ demands around fair pay that will help them afford the cost of living in New Jersey, as well as benefits like mental health care, health care from day one of residency, and adequate transportation and education funds. The doctors say their pay and benefits are falling behind other residency programs in the region, which, with unfilled residency spots in New Jersey, will compromise Rutgers’ ability to continue attracting a diverse and talented physician workforce to the state.
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.