1199SEIU Members at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital Overwhelmingly Vote to Ratify New Four-Year Contract

September 1, 2022

Immediate Release

Contact: JoAnn Cavanaugh, Director Public Relations Office: (716) 706-2061 | Cell: (716) 228-4886 | Email: jcav@chsbuffalo.org
Contact: April Ezzell, 1199SEIU Communications | Cell: (716) 449-1620 | Email: AprilE@1199.org

Lewiston, NY - Yesterday, the three separate bargaining units represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East voted overwhelmingly to ratify a new four-year agreement with Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston. More than 350 union healthcare workers at the hospital are covered by the new contract, which includes nurses, service and maintenance workers, technical workers, and other professional staff.

The new agreement provides market-competitive wages and benefits, a robust staffing proposal, and also includes sign-on and retention incentives to help draw more key staff to the hospital - addressing concerns brought on by the pandemic and nationwide staffing shortages.

“Union members overwhelmingly voted for ratification, which tells us our associates are happy with the offer we worked so closely with 1199SEIU bargaining committee to finalize,” said CJ Urlaub, President of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital. “This negotiation process was one of the most collaborative I’ve experienced and we are thankful to our colleagues at 1199SEIU for working together with us to create a contract that recognizes and rewards our current associates while being attractive for prospective staff.”

“It’s been a long haul, but we are glad to come together and negotiate an agreement that was in the best interest of all workers at our facility,” says Renee Gueli, Respiratory Therapist. “We maintained our health insurance. We negotiated a 20-year retention bonus on top of our general wage increases and we secured upgrades to retain existing workers. We are very proud that our service workers are now earning a comparable wage to other facilities in our area and that helps to retain workers, but those wages will also help to bring new workers into the hospital to help with shortages,” says Gueli.

In addition to improved wages and benefits, bonus pay is included in the contract, giving workers the opportunity to earn other salary incentives in addition to their regular hourly and overtime rate. The contract also includes sign-on and retention bonuses for graduate nurses and experienced Registered Nurses, and an enhanced Registered Nurse referral bonus for Mount St. Mary’s workers who refer nurses to the hospital – helping to improve staffing at the bedside.

Mount St. Mary’s Hospital and 1199SEIU began negotiations early January. The new four-year contract will be in effect through March 31, 2026.

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About Mount St. Mary’s Hospital -

Established in 1907, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital moved to its current location in Lewiston, New York, in 1965 and became part of Catholic Health in 2015. In addition to medical, surgical, emergency and intensive care services, the hospital offers a variety of specialty services on its main campus, just north of Niagara Falls. They include the Center for Women, featuring obstetric and gynecology services; Cardiac Center; Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine Center; a number of primary and specialty care practices; and Clearview Treatment Services, offering inpatient substance use treatment. The hospital’s offsite services, located throughout Niagara County, include the Neighborhood Health Center in Niagara Falls; Lockport Health Center; Center for Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation; Imaging & Lab Center; Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic; and other specialty services. A new neighborhood hospital and campus of Mount St. Mary’s, named Lockport Memorial Hospital, will be opening in 2023.

About 1199SEIU - 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in America. We represent over 400,000 nurses and caregivers throughout Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Florida. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all. www.1199seiu.org