UVM Medical Center Residents Vote to Unionize | Health Care | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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UVM Medical Center Residents Vote to Unionize

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Published April 14, 2022 at 9:45 p.m.


Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joins UVM Medical Center physician residents at the Burlington hospital earlier this month - COURTESY OF DAVID SEAVER
  • Courtesy of David Seaver
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) joins UVM Medical Center physician residents at the Burlington hospital earlier this month
Resident physicians at the University of Vermont Medical Center have voted to unionize.

The final tally was 209 for the union and 59 against. The National Labor Relations Board held the in-person election at the Burlington hospital on Thursday. Roughly 350 doctors were eligible to vote.

The verdict comes a month after the hospital declined to voluntarily recognize the union despite more than two-thirds of residents signing cards in favor of the effort. Several high-profile politicians, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), have expressed support for the drive since.



The doctors will be represented by the the Committee of Interns and Residents, a New York-based union that is the union for more than 20,000 residents across the U.S. The union recently posted a job listing for a new organizer in Vermont.
The NLRB still needs to certify the results. The union can then begin bargaining for a new contract — a process that could take months. 

Residents told Seven Days earlier this month that they hoped to initially push for raises, housing stipends and a better parental leave policy. They also want to tackle overall working conditions at the hospital, including an ongoing staffing shortage and a lack of adequate work spaces.

Dr. Hannah Porter, a second-year dermatology resident who was one of the leading organizers, said the union will benefit both the doctors and the people they serve. "Because the better we're able to care for ourselves, the better we're able to care for our patients," she said.

In a statement Thursday night, the hospital said it had been focused on ensuring all residents had a chance to weigh in on the union. The election accomplished that goal, it said.

"We expect to be in contact with the union soon to begin negotiating in good faith a collective bargaining agreement," the statement read.