Montefiore physicians vote to unionize

Resident physicians at New York City-based Montefiore Medical Center have voted to join the Committee of Interns and Residents, a local of the Service Employees International Union. 

Among voting residents and fellows, a supermajority of 82 percent decided in favor of unionizing, according to a Feb. 23 CIR/SEIU news release. The National Labor Relations board must certify the results, at which point bargaining can begin for about 1,200 residents and fellows.

"This organizing effort is a huge first step toward community-conscious healthcare that meets the needs of patients and doctors alike," said Sejal Shah, MD, a second-year resident in internal medicine at Montefiore, said in the union release. "We are one of the Bronx's only safety-net hospitals; it is crucial that we are able to advocate effectively to maintain quality care and working standards."

Montefiore shared the following statement with Becker's: "Montefiore respects our interns, residents and fellows' right to join a union. Now that the election process is complete, we will enter the bargaining process in good faith."

The vote at Montefiore comes as physicians nationwide have recently been involved in unionization efforts. Physicians at various organizations, including Minneapolis-based Allina Health's Mercy Hospital and the University at Buffalo in New York, are seeking union representation elections. 

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