Members Take on Nuvance and WinJanuary 6, 2022
On October 26 and 27, 1199 members at Nuvance/ Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie, and Nuvance/Putnam Hospital in Carmel, NY, voted overwhelmingly to ratify their one-year contracts after a long, hard fight with the new owners, Nuvance Health.
Since Health Quest Systems and Western Connecticut Health Network Connecticut merged to become Connecticut-based Nuvance Health in 2019, these Hudson Valley facilities have been plagued by extreme short staffing. “Nuvance had the opportunity to work with us to resolve this problem during contract negotiations,” said Erin Mullen, LPN, a bargaining committee member at Putnam Hospital, “But instead, they consistently threw wrenches into the bargaining process. That’s why we decided to picket, pull back the curtain and let the public know what’s really going on.”
The contracts extend for one year the current agreements. They include across-the-board 3% raises, and the continuation of the employer- paid health, pension, training and job security funds. Nuvance refused to honor the historic Juneteenth vacation day agreed by the League of Voluntary Hospitals and homes. But for the sake of settling the agreement to address staffing, members agreed to a re-opener early next year.
“We know short staffing in health care is not uncommon, but we believe Nuvance has been making it a lot worse at our community hospitals than it has to be.”
– Greg Speller, 1199SEIU EVP, Hudson Valley/ Capital Region
Greg Speller, Executive Vice President for 1199SEIU in the Hudson Valley/Capital Region said, “We know short staffing in health care is not uncommon, but we believe Nuvance has been making it a lot worse at our community hospitals than it has to be.
They are an out-of-state corporation, who came to the bargaining table in an aggressive manner, demanding multiple givebacks from our members, the ‘healthcare heroes’ they praised just last year. We’re relieved that the members secured good one-year agreements, but we think Nuvance will continue to put profits ahead of patient care in our communities, so we are continuing to organize and mobilize in a strong ‘fight-back’ campaign.”