exPCM

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NLRB Rules in Favor of Union at St. Barnabas

After months of hearings, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) sided with the resident physicians at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx who are seeking to join a union and has directed that a union election should be held within 30 days. The decision was issued May 22.

Nearly 90 percent of the resident physicians on staff signed a petition in January asking the hospital to recognize the Committee of Interns and Residents as their exclusive bargaining agent.


The hospital brought a challenge before the NLRB, arguing that residents are students, and not employees. After hearing testimony from resident physicians that they work up to 80 hours a week, six days a week, and function as front-line health care providers, NLRB Regional Director Celeste J. Mattina concluded that there is no doubt about the doctors’ status as employees.


“The Employer’s argument attempts . . . to denigrate the work that they do at the hospital regarding the patient population,” Mattina wrote in her decision. “ . . . There is no question but that a very significant amount of the resident’s time is spent with patients providing medical services.”



Resident physicians chose to join CIR after attempts to collaborate with the administration to improve efficiency and cut costs failed. They are also seeking to bring their work conditions up to the standards of other hospitals in the Bronx. St. Barnabas resident physicians earn nearly $8,000 less than resident physicians at similar Bronx hospitals, and the hospital recently increased the cost of the health care plan for “non-union employees” at a time when resident physicians can least afford it.
http://www.cirseiu.org/ourhospitals/ny/NLRB_Rules_in_Favor_of_Union_at_St__Barnabas.aspx
 

aProgDirector

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It's amazing that both this thread, and the FICA thread, are on the board at the same time. As far as the NLRB is concerned, residents are employees. As far as the IRS is concerned, they are students. Silly, really. Residents are employees, and should be allowed to form unions if they wish. The whole student argument is pretty nuts.
 

Doctor Phil

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NLRB Rules in Favor of Union at St. Barnabas
“The Employer’s argument attempts . . . to denigrate the work that they do at the hospital regarding the patient population,” Mattina wrote in her decision. “ . . . There is no question but that a very significant amount of the resident’s time is spent with patients providing medical services.”

Resident physicians chose to join CIR after attempts to collaborate with the administration to improve efficiency and cut costs failed. They are also seeking to bring their work conditions up to the standards of other hospitals in the Bronx. St. Barnabas resident physicians earn nearly $8,000 less than resident physicians at similar Bronx hospitals, and the hospital recently increased the cost of the health care plan for “non-union employees” at a time when resident physicians can least afford it.http://www.cirseiu.org/ourhospitals/ny/NLRB_Rules_in_Favor_of_Union_at_St__Barnabas.aspx
Any news on this? What's the outcome?

Is the culture at Barnabus that bad? Is this going to make it better? Anyone have advice for med students considering applying to residency here?
 

dragonfly99

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Good! This should serve as a warning to those hospitals that mistreat their house staff. Even at the better hospitals, residency can be very trying. It's also ludicrous that someone would try to argue that residents are students. It's silly, really, to anyone who has worked in a hospital.
 

starbuckscoffee

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Any news on this? What's the outcome?

Is the culture at Barnabus that bad? Is this going to make it better? Anyone have advice for med students considering applying to residency here?
It sounds like the dispute was just about money, not about work hour violations or other abuses of residents. I think St. Barnabas is actually a pretty cushy program (overnight call only on weekends for IM during floor months).
 
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I have never understood the problem of having residents unionize. Places that have instituted it have not had problems resulting from it. There is a pretty strong anti-union bias in this country, but for something like medical residents there is very little harm that can come out of it except for administrator salary.

Residents are not primarily students. They are doctors in training.
 

benjee

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See, i am confused. On one hand, doctor-in training was referred as student, but on the other hand, the salary was taxed as income ( as an employee) instead of stipend. BAsically, if doctors in training are students, then no income tax should be imposed .
 

bronx43

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What's the point of unionizing when you can't strike? What exactly is your bargaining chip?
 
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What's the point of unionizing when you can't strike? What exactly is your bargaining chip?
Residents joined together have a stronger voice. Obviously you can't strike, but you can otherwise embarrass the institution or stand together to bring attention to problems.
 

Eta Carinae

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Good! This should serve as a warning to those hospitals that mistreat their house staff. Even at the better hospitals, residency can be very trying. It's also ludicrous that someone would try to argue that residents are students. It's silly, really, to anyone who has worked in a hospital.
I darn near fell out of my chair reading that. That was the best defense they could find? Obviously they had nothing. I'm so glad the residents had the gall to protest the wrong practices at their program, but I'd like to hear the opinion of the >10% who did not sign the petition.

I wonder if this has wide applicability, though. It's feasible in a small community program but in larger academic programs...?

Thanks ex-PCM for posting this, and other, topics. :thumbup:
 

LEVAMISOLE

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Its about time residents fought back. We are the most abused workers in the country for what we are. Even 2 year RN's and CNA's have more rights and better pay. We take the crap because we have to. They control the match process which is all in their hands. Only a matter of time before we fight back especially as more patients will be throw our way.
 
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Its about time residents fought back. We are the most abused workers in the country for what we are.
Are you serious? This isn't 1960 anymore. Residents used to be abused. Now they are more typically worked hard. But compared to some professions it is tame. Hyperbole has its place at times but when you claim residents are the most abused workers in the country your arguments completely lose all rationality and thus are easy to dismiss.
 

UserNameNeeded

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Are you serious? This isn't 1960 anymore. Residents used to be abused. Now they are more typically worked hard.
1960 had some things going for it, too. For one thing, you could be totally free doing general practice after a single year of internship-- with relatively minimal educational debt, to boot. Sometimes I think I'd rather have 1 additional post-medical school year of stifling misery than 3+ under the current conditions. But that option isn't available-- I was born a couple of decades too late.
 

mojojojo

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Barnabas update: The NLRB denied St. Barnabas's request for review, and affirmed that residents are statutory employees with the right to organize. Great news for the Barnabas residents!

Here's the link to the decision:

NLRB - St. Barnabas
 

J-Rad

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Since I think this topic really is quite complimentary to the theme of this thread and makes the OP have even more context (without going O/T IMO), I'm interposing it to the thread. This topic was important to residents and it was unfortunate that grandstanding and name-calling overtook it as a point of discussion. Now back to interesting cases and issues...

http://chronicle.com/article/US-Supreme-Court-Agrees-to/65738/


I love how we are or aren't considered employees based on whose interest is involved. For the IRS we are employees (meaning, they can take extra taxes on our pay) For the institutions, we are not technically employees (else they are not complying with those federal minimum wage posters by the time clock)

Thoughts?