Stanford medical residents vote to join union | News

Medical residents and fellow physicians at Stanford Health Care have voted overwhelmingly to join a union, the Committee for Trainees and Residents (CIR-SEIU) said in a press release on Tuesday.

More than 81% of medical residents who voted Monday night approved joining the CIR-SEIU union.

Stanford has 1,478 residents and fellows, according to the hospital. Resident physicians began organizing in December 2020 after protesting the hospital’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, which excluded the majority of resident physicians who provide Stanford’s frontline care, from the first series of inoculations. Stanford said at the time that residents and fellows were excluded due to a computer algorithm problem. The CIR-SEIU would help residents negotiate better working conditions and better standards of patient care, the union said.

The vote comes a day after Stanford Children’s Hospital nurses Lucile Packard ratified a new contract through their union, the Committee for Nursing Achievement Recognition (CRONA), following a strike week for better working conditions and higher pay.

“Our physicians are united by our desire to provide the best possible patient care and strong worker protection. One thing the pandemic has made very clear, in addition to the widespread equity issues in our healthcare system, is that our needs as physicians cannot be separated from those of our patients,” said Dr. Ben Solomon, a three-year postgraduate pediatric resident in the union statement.

In late February, Stanford Health Care refused to voluntarily recognize the household staff union, the union said.

“This was emblematic of hospital management’s continued refusal to address residents’ concerns, which led residents to organize the union election through the National Labor Relations Board,” the union said. .

Amid widespread physician burnout, residents were frustrated that Stanford Health Care had stalled instead of taking steps to adequately support its medical residents, the union said. The continued shortage of doctors and nurses has hit hospitals across the country, with medical residents and colleagues filling gaps in patient care.

The union said these doctors “had no additional support while working for a hospital whose profits continue to soar, only exacerbating the burnout associated with 80-hour work weeks and salaries disproportionate to the cost of living”.

Dr Meaghan Roy-O’Reilly, a graduate neurology resident for two years, said the hospital administration had let down the so-called house staff “time and time again”.

“With a seat at the table, we are equipped to take the lead in advocating for ourselves and our patients. We understand the power of collective organizing and are excited to address these issues directly.” she declared.

According to the official vote tally, medical residents approved joining the union with 835 votes to 214 votes against. They have up to a week to earn official certification. Election results must be certified by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) before they become final. The Labor Relations Board is an independent federal agency that oversees union elections in the private sector.

CIR-SEIU is the largest domestic staff union in the United States and is a local chapter of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). It represents more than 20,000 medical residents and fellows.

In a statement, Stanford Health Care said it did not plan to challenge the election results.

“As we begin the collective bargaining process, our goal remains unchanged: to provide our residents and fellows with a world-class training experience. We will bring that same purpose to the negotiations as we strive to support their development as leading physicians,” the hospital said. .

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