1199SEIU and NY Hospital League Settle Tentative New Four-Year Agreement

August 1, 2014

After months of negotiations that culminated in a weekend of marathon talks at a Manhattan hotel, this morning at roughly 3:30 a.m.1199SEIU and the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York announced a tentative, four-year collective bargaining agreement.

The pact, which addresses the concerns of workers and providers, runs from Oct. 2, 2014 until Sept. 30, 2018 and includes total wage increases of 13%. It includes employer contributions to fully fund the National Benefit Fund through Sept. 30, 2018 and full funding for other 1199SEIU Funds, including the Child Care, Job Security and Training and Upgrading Funds; contributions to the National Pension Fund will remain at 11.25% through Jan 1, 2016.

“I think we did really well,” said Rosemarie Curley, a secretary II at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, NY. “This is one of the best contracts we’ve ever gotten and one of the hardest contracts we’ve ever negotiated because we had so much to lose. I’m so proud of our members. We came in not wanting to lose anything and we got wages. We didn’t want to go on strike, but we were willing to if we had to. And in the end we didn’t have to. This is a testament to what we can do together.”

In his remarks 1199SEIU Pres. George Gresham praised the drive and tireless work of the Union’s 500-member negotiating committee and the motivation of League members in the effort.

“We were able to create a movement around families and family values,” said Gresham. In keeping with the moment, Gresham paused to dedicate the contract to a beloved member of the of the 1199SEIU family – the late Basil Paterson. Paterson, who died in April, was a longtime advisor to 1199SEIU and saw the Union through many negotiations over the years.

“Basil was a pioneer and a great advocate for social justice, and above all was known for promoting graciousness, civility and common ground amongst seemingly disparate parties,” said Gresham. “He would be proud of all that 1199 members and League employer accomplished today, and the respectful manner in which we reached this agreement.”

Bruce McIver, president of the League, also took a moment to remember Paterson’s warmth and his tremendous influence on the work of labor negotiations. McIver went on to praise the new contract as a testament to 1199SEIU and the League’s mutual respect.

“This agreement demonstrates the strength of ur commitment to work with 1199SEIU and tackle some of the most complex issues facing the healthcare industry today…We are pleased to have reached an agreement that preserves benefits and increases wages for our great workforce, while supporting the health and sustainability of New York’s non-profit hospitals , health system and nursing homes.”

“I think we did great,” said Maxine Brown, an LPN at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx. “There were a lot of sleepless nights. A lot of calling people, getting people ready and mobilized. But in the end it was all worth it. We just have to keep fighting and believing that it’s all worth it, because we still have work to do”