Northwestern U physicians vote to unionize

Resident physicians and fellows at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, which is on the university's Chicago campus, voted to join the Committee of Interns and Residents, a local of the Service Employees International Union.

Kayla Blado, a spokesperson for the National Labor Relations Board, told Becker's the NLRB's Chicago regional office conducted a ballot count Jan. 29 for interns, residents, chief residents and fellows at McGaw.

Workers voted 794-148 in favor of union representation, she said, adding that one void ballot and three challenged ballots would not be counted because they are not determinative to the election outcome. 

The election follows an organizing campaign by the union to represent nearly 1,300 interns, residents, chief residents and fellows.

Now, Ms. Blado said McGaw must begin bargaining in good faith with the Committee of Interns and Residents. The union and McGaw have five business days to file objections to the election. The NLRB will then certify the election results if no objections are filed.

"As front-line providers at one of the region's premier hospital systems, Northwestern residents  possess a deep understanding of both hospital operations and the needs of their patients," the union said in a news release shared with Becker's. "Now, with union representation, they are looking forward to negotiating a first contract with improved care standards so they can continue serving their community."

McGaw, an association of affiliated urban, suburban, specialized and general hospitals and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, shared a statement with Becker's: "Residents and fellows at McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University recently voted to be represented by the Committee of Interns and Residents/Service Employees International Union in a National Labor Relations Board election. Throughout this process, we sought to ensure that every one of our residents and fellows had the opportunity [to] participate in a fair election.

"We respect this outcome and the decision of our residents and fellows. We remain committed to them and to providing medical training that enhances the future of medicine. Our focus will remain on supporting our residents and fellows and providing excellent care for our patients and communities."


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