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LICH Interns, Residents Unionize; Vow to Save Hospital

Yesterday, the house staff physicians (interns and residents) of Long Island College Hospital voted to join the Committee of Interns and Residents, an arm of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). According to the Union:

The vote to join CIR, the largest housestaff union in the country, caps months of effort by the housestaff. Throughout the fall, the LICH interns and residents, along with CIR staff, testified at hearings at Community Board 6 and at a public forum for Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and met directly with State Senator-elect Daniel Squadron in an effort to prevent what would be devastating closures to the hospital’s obstetrics, neonatal and pediatrics departments.

Interestingly, the press release added, “CIR will continue to work with and win union representation for the remaining 90 residents, who are paid by LICH but mostly working at other hospitals.” It seems odd that a hospital said to be in desparate financial straits would be paying the salaries of staff physicians who mostly work elsewhere, unless there are reciprocal arrangements under which staff paid by other hospitals work at LICH. Finally, the Union noted, “[r]esident physicians at LICH, together with CIR will also work with the community to ensure that vital programs continue to remain open.”

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