Workers in Westchester, Rochester and Massachusetts vote to Join 1199

April 10, 2024

1199 mag workers in westchester, rochester.jpgWorkers at WestMed, a consortium of doctors’ offices and urgent care centers located at seven different sites around Westchester, New York, reached out to 1199 when their conditions started to change following the corporate takeover. Recognizing that joining together for collective bargaining offered the best chance of securing fair wages and benefits, roughly 950 workers across a wide variety of job titles including nurses, pharmacists and physical therapists voted on January 31 and February 1 to join 1199.

Myriam Ravina, a Medical Assistant from White Plains said: “Management has made our healthcare more expensive and kept our wages low, while everything else goes up. I am voting yes for a real voice in our workplace.”

Diane Baker, a Benefits Coordinator in Purchase, added: “Like many of us, I am doing the work of multiple roles at once, and I deserve higher pay. We are owned by a billion-dollar company. Management is crying poor now because in our union we will have the power to fight for fair pay—and protect it in a contract.”

In Upstate New York, some 115 professional home care workers at University of Rochester Medicine Home Care (URMHC) also voted to join 1199SEIU on March 18.

Workers in the unit assist patients with the transition from the hospital back to their home as well as providing nursing care, physical, occupational, speech therapy, medical and social work services.

“Our work in home care is very fulfilling but can also be challenging. We work directly with patients and their families on personalized plans to meet their needs and goals. I’m proud to be involved with my coworkers at URMHC in forming our union with 1199SEIU. We will now have the power to make changes for the betterment of our patients and for all dedicated professionals working in the home care field,” said Cindy Lorenzetti, who has been a Physical Therapy Assistant for more than 30 years.

In Massachusetts, nearly 250 workers at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) at nine clinic sites voted to join 1199 on March 13.

“This win means we get to come together and continue to keep each other safe, now just in a more formalized process through our union, because nobody's got us like we got us,” said Noemi Guevara (She/Her), an HIV Prep Navigator at BHCHP.

The new members of the 1199 family include Care Coordinators, Case Managers, Clinic Coordinators, Recovery Coaches, Medical Assistants, Respite Aides, and Harm Reduction Technicians.