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Physicians for Responsible Negotiation

515 N. State St., 13th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60610


Wednesday, August 16, 2000


First private hospital resident group to seek collective bargaining since NLRB ruling

CHICAGO - Responding to heightened interest in collective bargaining among physicians in training, Physicians for Responsible Negotiation (PRN) filed a petition today with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to serve as the collective bargaining agent for residents and fellows at Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Illinois.

The action marks the first time that resident physicians at a private hospital have sought to exercise their collective bargaining rights since the NLRB decision regarding Boston Medical Center extended the protections of federal labor laws to residents at private hospitals.

A substantial number of the residents at Lutheran General Hospital cited continued friction over the administration's unilateral changes in benefits and working conditions that impact their ability to deliver the highest quality patient care as the primary concerns driving the decision to form a physician labor organization.

"Residents want hospital executives to strengthen their educational experience - not exploit it," said Susan Hershberg Adelman, MD, president of PRN and a pediatric surgeon from Southfield, Michigan. "Training institutions must understand that because residents are often the first line of care to many patients in the hospital, they deserve a legitimate voice about conditions that impact patient care and medical training."

Following formalization of the union, PRN will work on behalf of more than 160 eligible residents and fellows to improve the working conditions at the hospital and address disputes with management as they arise.

"PRN intends to maintain a strong and clear separation of contractual issues from academic issues in order to preserve the professionalism of medical training and permit the residency program to meet its obligations," said Dr. Adelman.

PRN believes that to uphold a hospital's academic environment, a labor organization that represents physicians must adhere to professional and ethical responsibilities that preclude the option of striking. "PRN will never conduct its negotiations in a manner that jeopardizes the health of patients or the academic interests of the residents," said Dr. Adelman.

For more information:
Robert T. Bernat, JD, MD
PRN Executive Director
312-464-4PRN (4776)

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