Doctors at Elmhurst Hospital Vote to Authorize Strike, Following Jamaica and Flushing Peers
More than 160 resident physicians at Elmhurst Hospital, one of the city’s largest public hospitals and ground zero of New York’s COVID pandemic response, voted to authorize a strike if they do not reach a deal on raises and hazard pay, the Committee of Interns and Residents-SEIU (CIR-SEIU) announced on Wednesday. The doctors' residency program is operated by Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine.
The residents are demanding pay parity with Mount Sinai’s main, non-union campus on the Upper East Side. Elmhurst residents currently earn $7,000 annually less than their non-union peers on average, a disparity that is expected to widen to $11,000 this summer when Mount Sinai’s planned 6% increase for its East Side doctors goes into effect in July.
“We see a huge discrepancy of how Mount Sinai treats their main campus residents versus the Elmhurst campus residents,” Dr. Tanathun Kajornsakchai, a union delegate and fourth-year psychiatry resident at Elmhurst, told THE CITY. “And it’s staggering and it is heartbreaking.”
The doctors, who are medical trainees who staff nearly every department at the hospital, voted to authorize a strike with 92% in favor and 8% against, with 91% of eligible union members voting. The union’s vote came a week after doctors at Jamaica and Flushing hospitals authorized a three-day strike if they do not resolve their own collective bargaining agreement before May 15. If resident physicians at all three hospitals move to strike it could bring the number of doctors to walk off the job in Queens to almost 500. Read more in THE CITY, ABC 7, and QNS. #QueensStrikeReady