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The healthcare workers at Orleans Community Health in Medina, members of 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, came to a tentative agreement for a collective bargaining agreement early this morning and averted a one-­‐day strike scheduled for Friday, June 12. Union members must ratify the contract before it takes effect. The vote is next week.

Contract Highlights:

• Duration: January 1, 2015-­‐December 31, 2017

• Annual wage increases (retroactive) and maintained step increases

• Maintained shift differentials for RNs and increased shift differentials for workers in the service & maintenance and LPN & technical bargaining units

• Maintained the workers’ Training and Education Fund

• Maintained their health benefits without any increases in premiums, deductibles or co-­‐pays

Background: The workers had been trying to settle a fair contract since the expiration of their last contract on December 31, 2014. The night of settlement marked 39 times that the workers and the hospital were at the bargaining table. A Federal Mediator was at negotiations for the last 10 sessions.

“We are please that the employer recognized that there is a direct connection between the livelihood of healthcare workers and quality care,” explained 1199SEIU organizer Michele Jerge. “For instance, how can healthcare workers assist the injured and ill, if they are worried about making ends at home, or job security? Orleans Community Health is an important employer in this community. Good jobs translate into a local economy that can thrive. Our issues are everyone’s issues.”

Donna Keavney, a pharmacy technician for 30 years said, “I didn’t want to strike, but I would have if forced. Healthcare workers who take care of patients need to be able to take care of our own families too. Furthermore, in a healthcare industry that is changing at such a fast pace, doesn’t everyone win when healthcare workers have the latest training and education opportunities?”

1199SEIU represents 272 healthcare workers at Orleans Community Health, in 3 different bargaining units: service & maintenance, LPNs & technical and RNs.


1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-­‐growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 400,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all.

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