Organizing a union is all about building community and solidarity. Currently the majority of interactions between housestaff are in the settings of consults and admissions, often in the middle of the night and sleep-deprived. Better working conditions negotiated with our contract can help to alleviate burnout, and our union is an opportunity to get to know other wonderful people who want to advocate for our wellbeing.
- We want every single department represented in our organizing and negotiations! What we do NOT want to happen is to have a department’s interest be left out of the contract because we just didn’t know about it. If there is a specific benefit that you want protected, let us know.
- Our union can also bring us solidarity within the hospital. CRONA (the nursing union) is 100% supportive of and allied with our efforts – they are so excited to see us unionizing (check out this button they made for us!) Our CRONA/CIR partnership has already helped us gain a better understanding of what we all go through and this will help strengthen relationships across the hospital.
- Better nursing contracts will lead to better nursing retention (if you’re on call, you probably want a seasoned nurse deciding what to call you for!), and less burnout on both sides will improve our interactions.
Again, organizing and unions are about building community. Housestaff who are more financially secure, have more autonomy and respect in their jobs, and are more protected from exploitation will have more emotional reserve to build these relationships.