1199 Contract Ensures Employment amid ClosuresOctober 20, 2023
After 41 years at Eastern Niagara Hospital, 1199 RN Louise Williams is preparing to join the staff at the brand-new Lockport Memorial Hospital being built nearby and due to open in mid-October. Williams was born at Eastern Niagara–which closed in June after 115 years. Both her mother and aunt also worked there, too, so the move is bittersweet for many reasons.
“I will miss the old hospital,” says Williams, “But I am very grateful for my Union contract which will preserve my decades of seniority. Otherwise, I would have had to start at the bottom all over again."
Michelle Salay, an 1199 Delegate and MRI Technologist who will also be moving from Eastern Niagara to Lockport, says, “Because of 1199, we will keep all our wages and benefits at the same level. This is a big thing for me after 20 years.”
The new hospital will serve a community of 80,000 people. Management has agreed to employ all the Union employees from Eastern Niagara. “I don’t know what we’d have done without 1199SEIU,” adds Salay.