Amid Bankruptcy, Healthcare Workers at Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport Unanimously Vote to Ratify 2-Year ContractJune 11, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: April Ezzell, 1199SEIU Communications | 716.449.1620
Future remains uncertain for community caregivers as Catholic Health plans to build new hospital
Lockport, NY – Nearly 200 Healthcare workers at Eastern Niagara Hospital in Lockport have unanimously voted to ratify a new 2- year agreement with their employer this week. The caregivers are represented by 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East.
Under the new two-year contract expiring March 31, 2023, both part-time and full-time workers will receive a onetime retention bonus. The agreement also includes a 2.25% general wage increase. There were no concessions.
Frontline caregivers have worked extremely hard battling COVID-19 during the pandemic and feel appreciated by hospital management. “While negotiating at the bargaining table, it was nice to hear how much Eastern Niagara Hospital values our members and it is reflected in our contract,” says Bill Perry, Patient Account Specialist and union delegate. “We were able to agree to a fair contract with no concessions.”
Despite securing a new two-year agreement, workers remain concerned about their future. As reported in Buffalo Business First, Catholic Health plans to shut down the 134-bed Lockport site and build a new hospital which will operate as a second campus of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital1.
1 Eastern Niagara has been struggling financially for several years and last summer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Mount St. Mary’s Hospital is operated by Catholic Health and workers at that site are also represented by 1199SEIU.
“I have worked at ENH for 38 years and I am concerned about our Community hospital,” says Louise Williams, Registered Nurse. “It was refreshing that management and workers were able to quickly negotiate the terms of our new agreement which benefits both workers and management. Now, we are ready to work on a bridging agreement with Catholic Health.”
Although, 1199 has requested a meeting with Catholic Health management, to date, no meeting has been scheduled between the two sides. 1199SEIU Vice-President for WNY Hospitals Jim Scordato says “with negotiations complete, the next step is to negotiate a bridging agreement between union members and the two organizations - Eastern Niagara Hospital and the second Campus of Mount St. Mary’s Hospital.”
1199SEIU members at Eastern Niagara Hospital work as Registered Nurses and Technicians at the facility in Lockport.
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.