Since Fall of last year we have been working as interns, residents, and fellows to recommit to one another and to our strong union—the Committee of Interns and Residents. We have built and continue to build an organization by and for resident physicians committed to learning, service, advocacy, and community. We did so in anticipation of this day.
Anti-union organizations have tried for years to win a Supreme Court case that would silence the voices of those of us who choose to stand side-by-side on the frontlines. Earlier today, in a 5 to 4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled in Janus vs AFSCME, that public sector unions must now negotiate contracts without the resources required to bargain and enforce them. This means that the scales that once guaranteed that everyone contributed a fair share have been tipped unfavorably. It will therefore become a lot harder to win wage increases, improvements in benefits, support for Patient Care Funds, Quality Improvement funding, greater patient safety, and what’s needed for physician well-being. This decision applies everywhere. We at CIR are not exempt from it.
But in every hospital, from Massachusetts to New York, from New Jersey to Washington DC, from Florida to New Mexico and California, thousands of us have already mobilized to ensure that no outside force will prevent us from advocating on behalf of our patients and ourselves. Whether we stand on the shoulders of the resident physicians who built the chapter we have at our hospital, or we are the ones organizing to win our first contract, inaction undermines our success. At the end of the day, we don’t fear the future—we shape it!
There are three things you can do right away:
- If you’re an intern, resident, or fellow and you have not yet completed a CIR Membership Card, please email “I’m ready” to firstname.lastname@example.org, and request one today!
- Sign up for our Committee for Political Education (COPE). If we have learned one thing from the past year and the back-and-forth over healthcare policy, it is that regardless of partisan politics, we need to make sure that we as physicians have the resources we need to do our jobs. To find out more, click here!
- Share your message of how your union, CIR, is committed to standing together for patients on social media and use the hashtag #cirleader. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
We are CIR. Together we rise.
Dr. Jessica Edwards