1,000+ UChicago physicians move to unionize

More than 1,000 resident physicians and fellows at the University of Chicago Medical Center are making efforts to join the Committee of Interns and Residents, a local of the Service Employees International Union.

The physicians filed a petition April 1 with the National Labor Relations Board to hold an election to vote on whether to unionize, according to an CIR/SEIU news release. The filing comes two months after resident physicians and fellows at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, which is on the university's Chicago campus, voted to join CIR/SEIU.

The union said physicians at University of Chicago Medicine seek to advocate for patient care and physician well-being, as well as partner with their CIR/SEIU colleagues to raise healthcare standards in Chicago.

"Working at the trauma center, which the community fought for years to open, made it clear we needed a seat at the table to advocate for ourselves and our patients," Nicholas Kowalczyk, MD, a nephrology fellow, said in the union release. 

"The care we provide is essential for our most vulnerable community members. By unionizing, we will have the power to negotiate with the hospital for the support and resources we need to provide comprehensive care for our patients."

University of Chicago Medical Center shared the following statement with Becker's: "As one of the nation's top teaching hospitals, the University of Chicago Medical Center is deeply committed to training the next generation of doctors. We work hard to foster an exceptional learning and care environment that both supports future generations of physicians and prepares them for exemplary careers in medicine. We immensely value our residents and fellows, their perspectives, and the roles they play in providing exceptional care to our patients and community."

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