Today we welcome more than 60 new members from Greater Hudson Valley Health System into the 1199SEIU family.

The LPNs, Medical Assistants, Billing Specialists, Coders and Receptionists at the medical center in Middletown, New York, voted by 48 to 12 to join our union.

Darylnn Pluas, has been a Medical Assistant for 17 years and came to work at GHVHS about eight months ago.

She said she voted ‘Yes’ because: “Just about everyone else in Orange Regional Medical Center, which GHVHS is part of, have 1199 benefits. We realized that we should have them too.

“I’m looking forward to negotiating a contract with no cost healthcare for my son, who’s 10 and my daughter, who is 14. With the non-union plan, it would cost me $200 a month for their health insurance. The child care vouchers and 1199 summer camps would be great, too.

“I also want to go back to school to become an LPN, so I’m looking forward to a contract that includes 1199 education benefits.”

Gabriella Medeiros, who is a CMA at GHVHS, welcomed the victory saying: “The meetings we had ahead of today’s vote were a nice way to bring everyone together and figure out what we wanted to do as a whole.

“We all want better job security and benefits. We are very short-staffed here. Now that we’ve voted to join the union we hope to negotiate better staffing levels and a more structured work environment.”

By providing compassionate and professional care to people in Orange County, our GHVHS colleagues embody the spirit of the 1199 local.

1199SEIU is the largest healthcare worker’s union in the US, with more than 400,000 members in five states along the Eastern seaboard. We are one of the fastest growing unions in the country.

As well as having a larger say in their working lives, the newest members at GHVHS voted to join our union for 1199’s pension, job security, affordable quality healthcare and educational benefits.