Stanford Health Care physicians seek union recognition

Front-line physicians at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Stanford Health Care are demanding that the health system voluntarily recognize the Committee of Interns and Residents as their exclusive representative for collective bargaining.

Workers announced the demand for union recognition in a Feb. 22 news release, citing a need to advocate for better working conditions, patient care standards and compensation.

"We had hoped our institution would have the bandwidth to advocate for us," Meaghan Roy-O'Reilly, MD, PhD, a second-year neurology resident, said in the release. "Unfortunately, given the events that have elapsed over the past two years, we ultimately realized that we need to advocate for ourselves — and for each other."

Stanford Health Care did not comment on the push for union recognition.

The demand for union recognition comes after resident physicians led a protest in December 2020 against a Stanford Medicine COVID-19 vaccination plan that excluded house staff from the initial round of shots. The health system immediately revised the plan to prioritize resident physicians.

The Committee of Interns and Residents is a local chapter of the Service Employees International Union. The union represents more than 20,000 resident physicians and fellows, including University of Massachusetts physicians in training, who unionized in March 2021.

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