1199SEIU Caregivers Ratify New Contract With 19 HCA Florida HospitalsJune 28, 2023
MIAMI – Members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East – the largest union of healthcare workers in Florida – have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new contract with HCA hospitals that makes significant progress in addressing the staffing, retention and care crisis throughout the state.
The agreement secured by the 1199SEIU Bargaining Committee includes a variety of rewards and incentives for workers, including across-the-board raises, wage equity, wage grids based on years of experience, and more.
The three-year contract effective this month will cover about 10,000 nurses, CNAs, technicians, dietary aides and other healthcare workers in 19 HCA facilities in South Florida and the Treasure Coast, Central Florida, Southwest Florida and the Tampa Bay area.
Highlights of the new agreement include a wage grid with no salary caps in the first two years, the largest increase ever secured in contract negotiations with HCA. Wage equity provisions that will raise a current employee’s salary to match a new hire (with equal experience) brought in at a higher rate.
To help improve transparency and accountability in staffing levels, hospital management must provide a copy of the staffing matrix if requested, and not interfere with staff posting it inside the facility for all employees to see.
Caregivers also must be compensated when they are “called off” an understaffed shift, will receive significant increases in “on call” and “differential” pay, be eligible for certification bonuses and other benefits.
After months of negotiation, the vote to ratify the new contract was nearly unanimous by 1199SEIU members who have been working in critically short-staffed units and risking their lives to save others since before the COVID-19 pandemic. Many caregivers have been leaving HCA and other Florida hospitals due to short staffing, inequitable pay and other working conditions.
“Caregivers and all our healthcare employees are committed to provide the very best and safest care possible, but we need to be respected, protected and paid fairly,” said James Streitenberger, a member of the 1199SEIU Bargaining Committee Lead Patient Care Technician at HCA Florida Trinity Hospital. “This new contract is a solid step in the right direction.”
HCA is the largest healthcare company in the nation and reported approximately $13 billion in profits and $120 billion in revenue combined in 2021 and 2022. Approximately 40 percent – or $24 billion – of annual company revenue generated from taxpayer-funded programs such as Medicare and Medicaid programs.
“HCA is a giant corporation that can easily afford and should take proper care of its patients, staff and Floridians. This new agreement is a significant step in alleviating the staffing, retention and care crisis we’ve been experiencing in HCA hospitals throughout the state,” said Stephanie Shaw, Vice President 1199SEIU Florida. “While it doesn’t include everything our union proposed, it’s substantial progress in recruiting and especially retaining the experienced, talented staff who provide direct care and other critical services in communities across the state.”
During the bargaining process, 1199SEIU members across the state also voted to refuse voluntary overtime assignments June 2 – 7 and file an Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) complaint against HCA for failing to provide requested information related to safe staffing levels and “sentinel” (resulting in death, permanent harm, or severe temporary harm) patient events. After the concerted union member effort, HCA provided a portion of the data. Remaining information requests are pending and the ULP process continues.
Members of 1199SEIU work at HCA facilities in the following Florida counties:
Miami-Dade County -- HCA Florida Kendall Hospital, HCA Florida Aventura Hospital.
Broward County -- HCA Florida Northwest Hospital, HCA Florida Woodmont Hospital, HCA Florida Westside Hospital and HCA Florida University Hospital.
Palm Beach County -- HCA Florida Palms West Hospital and HCA Florida JFK North Hospital.
Saint Lucie County -- HCA Florida Saint Lucie Hospital.
Osceola County -- HCA Florida Osceola Hospital.
Seminole County -- HCA Florida Lake Monroe Hospital.
Charlotte County -- HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital.
Sarasota County – HCA Florida Sarasota Doctors Hospital
Manatee County – HCA Florida Blake Hospital
Pinellas County -- HCA Florida Largo Hospital, HCA Florida Northside Hospital and HCA Florida Saint Petersburg Hospital.
Pasco County -- HCA Florida Trinity Hospital.
Hernando County -- HCA Florida Oak Hill Hospital.
For more information on 1199SEIU, visit: www.1199seiu.org/florida.
1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest union of healthcare workers in Florida, representing more than 35,000 active and retired nurses, certified nursing assistants and other staff in hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities throughout the state.