New Contract With HCA Culminates Successful Campaign Calling on Company to “Respect Us, Protect Us, Pay Us, Staff Us”August 4, 2023
After months of contract negotiations -- supported by a strategic communications and successful worker action campaign -- members of 1199SEIU Florida have won a favorable new contract with HCA. It includes numerous increases in pay, protections and benefits, and makes significant progress in addressing the staffing and retention crisis for caregivers and other healthcare staff.
The new contract, ratified nearly unanimously by the members, includes wage grids based on years of experience for the first time ever, with no salary caps in the first two years, which is the largest increase our membership has ever secured in negotiations with HCA. A significant number of full-time and part-time employees who are being paid below where they should be according to HCA’s wage grids will receive notable increases in pay over three years.
The three-year contract covering about 10,000 nurses, CNAs, technicians, dietary aides and other healthcare workers in 19 Florida HCA hospitals also includes:
--Across the board raises: for all full-time and part-time employees
--Wage Equity/Starting Rates: If a new hire is brought in at a higher rate than current employees in that position with comparable experience, HCA must raise impacted employees to the higher rate.
--Staffing: HCA must compensate workers if they are called off a shift that is understaffed or results in understaffing. Management must provide a copy of the staffing matrix if requested and must allow posting for all employees to see.
--Significant increases in differentials and on-call pay.
--Certification Pay: For the first time all non-nurse clinical staff (1,000+ workers) will be eligible for certification bonuses/reimbursement; and nurses currently receiving certification differential will have that added to their base pay.
The negotiations were led by the 1199SEIU Florida Bargaining Committee members over numerous virtual and in-person sessions.
Members also took part in various in-facility solidarity efforts, including a concerted action to refuse voluntary overtime, as well as filing an Unfair Labor Practice complaint against HCA for withholding safety-related data during negotiations.
Caregivers and workers from all departments also participated in effective communication and media campaigns that highlighted HCA short-staffing and challenges faced by workers trying to provide the very best care for patients. These included rallies in front of HCA hospitals across Florida highlighting the “revolving door” at HCA hospitals with severe retention and turnover issues; Florida members turning out in strength with partner locals at high-profile national actions in Los Angeles and directly in front of HCA headquarters in Nashville; interviews with top-tier news media outlets from around the country; and much more.
“The new contract was a successful culmination of an intensive and wide-ranging effort,” said Stephanie Shaw, Vice President 1199SEIU Florida. “We didn’t receive everything we proposed, but through solidarity and dedication, we earned considerable raises and benefits, and made substantial progress addressing the staffing, retention and care crisis. This is clearly a win.”
“It was very gratifying to stand up and apply real pressure to a giant corporation, and make them hear our powerful collective voice,” said Stacey White, a 1199SEIU Bargaining Committee member and a speech pathologist at HCA Florida Osceola Hospital. “We demanded that they respect us, protect us, pay us and staff us. Because we stood united and strong, they heard us and we plan to keep using our voices.”
For more information on becoming a delegate, contact your organizer. To report staffing issues, text “Staffing” to 30644 or visit www.bit.ly/adoform.