Hospital's Interns and Residents Vote to Join SEIU Following NLRB Ruling

The NLRB announced today that the interns and residents at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx, New York, following a count of the ballots they cast in a union election on June 18, 2009, voted by a margin of 119 to 2 to join the Committee of Interns and Residents, a local of the SEIU.  The central issue presented by the SEIU’s 2009 election petition was whether the hospital’s interns and residents were “employees” with the right to organize, or students not covered by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).  Today’s polling announcement was the outgrowth of the NLRB’s June 3, 2010 decision (pdf) refusing to review a regional director’s ruling that the interns and residents at St. Barnabas Hospital are employees.

Only 121 of the 280 eligible interns and residents voted in the 2009 election.  According to the hospital, as a result of the completion of residency and internship programs annually on June 30, approximately two-thirds of the interns and residents who were eligible to participate in that election will no longer be associated with the hospital by the end of this month.  The hospital is contemplating an appeal to contest the NLRB’s ruling that the doctors were employees.

The overwhelming vote to unionize by those who chose to cast ballots will likely spur interns and residents at other hospitals throughout the nation to attempt to organize and may encourage other unions to more aggressively target such groups for representation at other hospitals.

This entry was written by David I. Rosen.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.