Membership Revoked
10+ Year Member
Apr 12, 2006
Attending Physician
CIR officially grew by 130 members when resident physicians at Long Island College Hospital (LICH) ratified their first union contract on January 14, 2010. The contract guarantees all residents a 3% raise retroactive to October 2009, another 3% raise in April of this year, and greatly improved health coverage, as well as a book allowance and meal provisions.

The residents at LICH organized in 2008 in response to the administration’s plans to close down multiple programs and sell off some of the hospital’s buildings. They quickly gathered the signatures of 90% of the housestaff on a petition asking that CIR be recognized as the residents’ union. An election was set for December 10, 2008, and the vote was unanimous in favor of the union.

Then the hard work of negotiations began. For nearly a year, members of the bargaining committee attended department and hospital-wide meetings and dozens of negotiating sessions. The negotiations were complicated by speculation and rumors about SUNY Downstate possibly taking over the hospital, and residents felt it was urgent to settle the contract before there were changes in management.

“I felt really great – after the work we did, we got something back,” said Dr. Samer Diab Agha, a resident in Internal Medicine, after the ratification vote. “The best thing is we have a contract now, so when we negotiate with Downstate in the future, we have a basis.”

Free or reduced health care premiums will be a big relief to many residents who were previously paying up to $400 a month for family coverage. A new book allowance of $350 will help subsidize materials and exam registrations.

“Between the 6% raise this year negotiated in the contract and the standard PGY increase July 1, some residents can expect a salary increase of $7,000,” said Dr. Haidar Yassin, another Medicine resident. Dr. Yassin said it was exciting to have been a part of the initial campaign to organize a union at LICH in 2008 and then see the negotiations through to the end. “It was exhausting, but it paid off,” he said.


Supratentorial problems
10+ Year Member
Sep 4, 2007
Fellow [Any Field]
That's interesting. It sounds as though it took extreme circumstances to organize this union (the closing of multiple programs) and I don't think it's reasonable at this point to assume it could happen everywhere else. It's nice to see the residents obtaining some protection, though I don't know how much it is needed, i.e. if this institution is extremely malignant or not. I don't know that unionization would be necessary everywhere else either, as aside from the closing of programs, I think the ACGME works to ensure adequate working conditions for residents. That's obviously not possible at every turn and people will always lie (for instance about work hours), but it's something.

I didn't read the article and maybe I will a bit later, but I'd be interested in knowing if these residents had the faculty's support in this effort? If the faculty was supportive, that makes this much less of a major coup than if they formed this union without the consent of the attendings.


10+ Year Member
Apr 2, 2009
Resident [Any Field]
I wonder what the starting salary is now ie. Starting June 2010 PGY1s will make what? and what did they make in 2009, 2008?

Also, im not asking what freida says the starting salary is incase anyone wanted to post that.