Union Petitions NYU Langone to Guarantee Benefits

May 23, 2018

Crain’s Health Pulse

Members of 1199SEIU crowded into the reception area of NYU Langone Health's executive offices Tuesday to deliver a petition demanding that the hospital guarantee that it will not attempt to withdraw from any of the union's benefit funds during upcoming contract negotiations.

The petition, delivered on paper and on giant poster boards, had 2,872 signatures from employees at NYU Langone's Tisch and Brooklyn campuses.

NYU Langone withdrew from the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes in 2016 and signaled that it wanted to start negotiating its contracts independently from other hospitals. The union has been warning members that the health system could start trying to cut benefits.

"The anxiety being created by Local 1199 amongst our employees is unwarranted," said a spokeswoman for NYU Langone. "We contacted Local 1199 last week to request dates to commence negotiations. We look forward to working amicably and productively with the union to reach the terms of a fair contract that benefits the specific needs of NYU Langone Health employees in the 1199 bargaining unit."

Diana Newbal, a pharmacy technician at NYU Langone and an 1199 delegate, said she feels NYU Langone employees are more vulnerable since the hospital left the league.

"If you're going to negotiate by yourself, it's going to be a critical time and a harder time to get things across the board," she said. "If in unity we negotiate with other hospitals, then things will look much better and more successful for the members. Nevertheless, I believe they can and should give us a decent contract."