1199SEIU Roundup: March 31, 2017

March 31, 2017

Winning contracts.
Strengthening our 1199 family.
Standing up for our values.

Together, we are creating a more perfect union for us all. 1199SEIU Massachusetts is about unity and worker power. Take a look at what we're up to in our workplaces and communities:

Welcome to 1199!

1199SEIU Massachusetts is getting stronger. Recently, healthcare workers across the state voted to join our union and gain a voice for quality care and good jobs.

Nearly 500 workers at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain – including lab assistants, surgical technicians, housekeeping, food service staff and medical interpreters – voted to unite with us and join our union. Mary Panciocco, a Unit Secretary, was elated about the victory:

"I came from a union background and know firsthand the difference unions have made for my family. Over the years, I have seen a lot changes here at Faulkner. With 1199SEIU, I believe we will be able to have a voice in those changes.” (read more about the victory here)

Long Term Care workers also have been coming together. Housekeeping Staff at Golden LivingCenter-Wedgemere in Taunton voted to join healthcare workers already united with our union. CNAs at Pine Knoll Nursing Center in Lexington voted overwhelmingly to join 1199SEIU.

Congratulations to everyone on these hard-fought victories. Now, onward to strong first contracts!

Faulkner Hospital workers celebrate after their victory!

Pine Knoll CNAs are excited to be 1199ers!

1199ers Win Tentative Agreement at the Center for Extended Care in Amherst

After six months of negotiating withmanagement and two different nursing home administrators, workers at the Center for Extended Care in Amhersthave reached a tentative agreement for a three year contract!

Management first came to the table with several proposals that would have negatively affected our members, including removing paid meal breaks, reducing personal days and holidays, unfair raises and more.

The bargaining team came together as a strong force to stand up for their jobs and the quality care they provide. Our sisters and brothers filed petitions to raise issues that were most important to them, and their petitions produced results. One manager was fired as result of a petition that focused on lack of respect and dignity, and other petitions forced management to take their harmful proposals off the table.

The Tentative Agreement includes a bonus provided by the wage pass through funds we fought to win in the state budget, annual wage increases, an offset for health insurance costs and expanded bereavement leave.

Lisa Provost, a CNA and delegate at the Center for Extended Care at Amherst, is excited about how this Tentative Agreement shows the power of workers coming together:

"With the hard work of the bargaining team during negotiations, we brought more awareness of what the union difference is with 1199."

Congratulations to the 1199ers at CECA! Together, we are stronger.

1199SEIU: Fighting the Opioid Epidemic

Governor Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh joined our Executive Vice President Tyrék D. Lee on March 28 to anounce the launch of RIZE Massachusetts, a new non-profit organization that will raise private funds to support programs to fight the opioid and substance abuse epidemic.

1199SEIU, along with Partners HealthCare, General Electric, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, Boston Medical Center and other community, civic and business organizations, have worked together to make this vision a reality. Read more about RIZE Massachusettts here.

“As healthcare workers, we are on the front lines of the opioid addiction epidemic, and we see firsthand the trauma and pain that this disease inflicts. For many of us, this crisis hits close to home, not only at our workplaces, but also within our own families. That’s why we are proud to participate in RIZE and reaffirm our commitment to ending the epidemic of opioid and substance abuse addiction." - 1199SEIU Executive Vice President Tyrék D. Lee, Sr.

Congratulations to the newly elected delegates at Falmouth Hospital!

1199ers at Falmouth Hospital recently voted for delegates to help better represent the needs of Falmouth Hospital union members. Congratulations to Nicole Barbel from Laboratory and Deb Westgate from Radiology!What is a delegate? Delegates are 1199's primary representatives in the workplace and elected by their coworkers. They help other members by providing information and assistance on grievances, contract questions and other job related issues. They also organize members around political actives, promote union programs and make sure that union members have a stable, productive relationship with management. To find out who your delegate is, contact your administrative organizer!

PCAs testify in favor of new overtime regulations

Rebecca Gutman, our Vice President of Home Care joined PCAs at a hearing in Worcester on March 20 to testify in support of the state's new overtime utilization policy. PCAs fought for and won key changes to the state's policy, including a 50-hour cap and a robust, flexible exemptions process that recognizes the longstanding relationships between PCAs and consumers.

Steward Members participate in Compensation and Labor-Management Committees to promote good jobs and quality care

1199ers from each Steward hospital gathered on March 15 to continue the work of the system-wide Compensation Committee. The work of the Compensation Committee is outlined in our most recent contract and includes assessing and categorizing current job titles and descriptions to develop a wage system that better reflects the work we do. The Committee made good progress and agreed on certain classifications for each job title to discuss at the next meeting in April.

Members from each Steward hospital also participated in our quarterly system-wide Labor-Management Committee meeting on March 15. We discussed specific areas for strengthened collaboration among our union, Steward management and the 1199SEIU Training & Upgrading Fund on workforce development opportunities to enhance our professional skills. Ideas include building on programs that have worked at Steward in the past, such as CNA and Coder training, and programs that have been successful at other facilities, including training for Medical Lab Technicians and Medical Interpreters. We look forward to continuing this important conversation at our next meeting.

Caring for Lynn

We joined together with our community allies and elected officials on March 30 for our third conversation about the health and well-being of our community in Lynn. This was the third in a series of forums, that started with examining the current situation of the health needs of Lynn and are now moving forward with recommendations developed by the community. Thank you to everyone who attended - stay tuned or next steps!

Victory for Healthcare and Collective Action!

Last week, Congressional Republicans withdrew their proposed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. This bill would have jeopardized our jobs, threatened healthcare coverage for 24 million hardworking Americans and ended Medicaid as we know it - all to give a massive tax break to the wealthy.

The withdrawal of this disastrous bill is a significant victory for working families and affirmation of the power of collective action. YOU made it happen. Thank you for calling your elected leaders, talking to your friends and family and posting on social media. Through collective action, we proved that by coming together and raising our voices, we can win.

Our fight does not end here - we must remain vigilant in our advocacy!

In-District Meetings Continue

1199ers met with State Representative Susan Gifford on March 29 for an In-District Meeting and shared our healthcare and community issues agenda. We thank Representative Gifford for taking time to meet with us! Pictured from left to right are Representative Gifford, Southcoast VNA 1199er Jennifer Williams, Political Organizer Teia Searcy and Southcoast VNA 1199er Matt Patenaude.

To find out about In-District Meetings in your community, contact the Political Action Department at 617-284-1199.


Wednesday, April 12
2:00 p.m.
Massachusetts State House

Join us as we stand with our SEIU brothers and sisters for a Day of Action to protect affordable healthcare and ensure all working families and communities can thrive.

Stay tuned for more details.