The following is from the SEIU blog dated June 11, 2010:
Landslide Victory for St. Barnabas Hospital Residents
By Richard Negri
After two years of hardcore fighting and beat back, the Bronx, NY hospital residents win their union.
Earlier this week the National Labor Relations Board issued a significant decision decreeing that St. Barnabas Hospital physicians and resident physicians have the right to organize and form a union. And oh boy, did they ever!
Today the NLRB announced that the doctors voted overwhelmingly to form their union. The 119 to 2 landslide vote was a hard fought victory for the residents, who beat back an aggressive anti-union campaign by hospital administration. The residents organized their union to improve working conditions and patient care. Today's results prove that a collective and organized fight can be won when we are steadfast in our process.
The union previously reported that the residents held a secret ballot on June 18 of last year, but the results were impounded pending the hospital's appeal that residents should be considered students, not employees. Ironically (or not) the hospital presumably knew about a 1999 decision on a similar case involving Boston Medical Center.
Well, the NLRB declined the hospital's request for review and ultimately paved the way for the union to finally crack open the sealed up ballot box.
With the results being what they are it is no wonder the hospital was so bent on keeping the ballot box shut tight.
"This is more than a win, it's a mandate," Eric Scherzer, Executive Director of the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR), said. "Today's vote sends a clear message to the hospital that it's time for St. Barnabas to step up to the plate and to reach a collective agreement that provides their medical staff the tools they need -- training opportunities, equipment, translation services-- to be great doctors for the Bronx community."
The 280 St. Barnabas residents will join with 13,000 residents nationwide who have a voice at their hospitals through Committee of Interns and Resident/Service Employees International Union.