1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and Steward Health Care Sign Three-year Labor ContractAugust 19, 2016
Three-year pact includes wage increases, preserves free college tuition and affordable insurance for thousands of health care workers
Contract includes pathways to $15 minimum wage for workers at multiple hospitals and continues partnership on efforts to secure and protect community hospital funding
BOSTON, MA (August 2, 2016) – Members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East employed at eight hospital campuses operated by Steward Health Care have voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new labor agreement with the largest operator of community hospitals in Massachusetts. 1199SEIU is the largest and fastest-growing union of healthcare workers in Massachusetts. Steward Health Care is the fifth largest employer in Massachusetts.
The new labor pact covers approximately 5,000 workers at Carney Hospital (Dorchester), Good Samaritan Medical Center (Brockton), Norwood Hospital, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center (Brighton), Morton Hospital (Taunton), Holy Family Hospital at Haverhill, Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, and Nashoba Valley Medical Center (Ayer).
The contract preserves the same affordable and low deductible health insurance coverage options for thousands of workers as negotiated in prior agreements. The contract also continues Steward’s participation in the 1199SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund – a unique benefit that provides free college tuition for all 1199SEIU members within Steward Health Care seeking to advance their careers in the medical field. Founded in 2006, the 1199SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund is a joint labor-management partnership between 1199SEIU and local participating health providers that enhances patient care and helps thousands of workers access new training and post-secondary certificate or degree programs.
The new pact includes a 5.5% total across the board wage increase for union members over three years. Workers at both of Steward’s Boston hospitals plus three others will receive a $15 minimum wage by the end of the second year of the contract (November 1, 2018). The labor agreement covers a wide range of healthcare jobs including a variety of service, clerical, and technical positions.
In addition to the standing joint labor-management committees through which Steward and 1199SEIU work jointly on initiatives to improve care and jobs within the hospitals, the contract establishes a compensation workgroup that will include representatives from the union membership and hospital administration.
“Quality care is directly linked to quality jobs, and this contract raises standards for healthcare workers across the Steward system,” said Tyrék D. Lee, Sr., Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. “It ensures these dedicated caregivers will continue to have a strong voice at their workplaces and access to the training and education opportunities they need to provide the quality care their patients deserve.”
“This contract builds upon the shared work that Steward and 1199SEIU members have done not only to continue strengthening the level of patient care at our hospitals – but also to provide valuable education opportunities and good jobs for the entire health care team,” said John Polanowicz, Executive Vice President of the Steward Hospital Services Group. “It is a reflection of Steward’s commitment to the communities we serve.”
The effective dates of the contract are November 1, 2016 – October 31, 2019.
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