Orleans Community Health Workers Overwhelmingly Ratify 3-Year Deal Averting PicketFebruary 5, 2024
Press Release: February 5, 2024
Contact: April Ezzell, (716) 449-1620
Hospital and clinic caregivers won living wage increases and quality benefits to help retain and recruit more staff to care for patients in rural Upstate communities
Medina, NY – More than 200 hospital and clinic workers at three Orleans Community Health sites in Medina, Albion and Batavia voted to ratify a 3-year labor deal late last month. Hospital and clinic workers are represented by 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest healthcare workers union.
The new three-year contract covers hospital and clinic workers at Orleans Community Health’s Medina Memorial Hospital, Lake Plains Batavia Dialysis Clinic, and Albion Healthcare Center.
Wages were a key sticking point in contract talks forcing workers to vote in favor of holding an informational picket, which is now cancelled.
“We fought hard for this contract and it’s great,” said Kagney Bieniek, Radiology Technologist. “With the wages we won during negotiations, this is the best contract we’ve seen in years. I hope that it will help us to retain more workers and to get new hires. I love having a hospital like this to serve our community and it’s great that we were able to settle,” said Bieniek.
The new three-year union contract provides for a $17.00 per hour minimum starting rate for new hires. Healthcare workers won general wage increases from 3% - 20% in the first year, and an additional 3% in the 2nd year and 5% in the third year. In addition to general wage increases, some positions will see an increase in base rate of pay to help retain and recruit more workers into those positions. Healthcare workers will also get an increase in preceptor pay. Workers also won increases in shift and weekend differentials, one additional day out of town bereavement, and MLK and Juneteenth as paid holidays starting in 2025. Union members will also maintain their access to 1199SEIU Training & Upgrading Benefit Fund.
1199SEIU represents professional, technical and service jobs at all three sites including: Registered Nurses, Dietetic Technicians, Occupational Therapy Assistants, Physical Therapy Assistants, Radiology Technologists, Nuclear Medicine Technologists, Respiratory Therapists, MRI Techs, Surgical Techs, Certified Nurse Assistants, Unit Secretaries, Ambulatory Unit Aides, Activities Aides, Pharmacy Technicians, Aide Porters, Cooks, Cafeteria Aides, Maintenance Workers, Environmental Service Workers, Couriers, Patient Care Technicians, Processor Phlebotomist, and Clinical Technicians.
The new three-year union contract runs through December 31, 2026.
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.