Pushed To The Edge By Hospital Management, 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers At Mount St. Mary’s Hospital In Lewiston Are Now Considering Giving Their Committee Approval To Send A Strike NoticeJuly 25, 2018
Immediate Release: July 25, 2018
It’s been a long haul for the nurses, lab and tech staff, and service and maintenance workers who have been trying to negotiate a fair contract with Mount St. Mary’s Hospital. Having done everything possible at the negotiating table to explain to management that short-staffing and high turnover create big obstacles to quality patient care, and that a decent contract with competitive market wages and affordable health benefits can mitigate the problem—management continues to turn a deaf ear.
On July 10, the healthcare workers, members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, held a picket informing the public about the serious staffing problems at the community’s hospital. When they returned to bargaining after the picket, not much changed.
Angry that they are being pushed to even consider a strike because of the hospital’s lack of cooperation, the 1199SEIU Negotiating Committee will hold an authorization vote today. A strike authorization vote allows 1199 members to vote YES or NO on whether or not to give their Negotiating Committee the authority to issue a 10-day notice to strike. The legally required notice informs the employer, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health of the workers’ intention to strike.
“The last thing we want to do is go on strike,” said Terri Ross, an RN at Mount St. Mary’s for the past 32 years. “I much rather be caring for patients who need me! Many of us feel that management is forcing us to do this, but, sadly this is the only way they’ll understand how serious our concerns are.”
“The short-staffing we see every day at Mount St. Mary’s should worry everyone in this community – everyone who may need our hospital or has a family member who counts on quality care at Mount St. Mary’s” Ross continued. “And until the hospital starts to value us, the people who actually the deliver the care and services, they are not going to be able to hold on to quality workers—and with that, quality care is at risk.”
1199SEIU represents 400 registered nurses, nurse’s aides, laboratory and technical staff, dietary and environmental service workers at the hospital who have been meeting with management to secure a new collective bargaining agreement for nearly year.
1199SEU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest union in New York State and the largest healthcare union in the nation. We represent over 250,000 nurses and healthcare workers in New York and over 400,000 members throughout the East Coast. Our mission is to achieve quality care and good jobs for all. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @1199SEIU & @1199UpstateNY