UPDATE: 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers At Mount St. Mary’s Hospital In Lewiston Overwhelmingly Voted To Authorize Their Committee To Send A Strike NoticeJuly 27, 2018
MEDIA ADVISORY Immediate Release: July 26, 2018
Pushed to the edge by hospital management, 1199SEIU healthcare workers at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital voted today to give their Negotiating Committee approval to send a 10-day notice to strike. The legally required notice informs the employer, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health about the workers’ intention to strike.
According to Jim Scordato, 1199SEIU Vice President, “By 8 p.m. when voting closed down, more than 80% of our 413-member bargaining unit had showed up and voted—and 95% of those people voted to send a strike notice, if management doesn’t begin to show signs of coming closer to settling a fair agreement.” Scordato also noted that the vote took place about three miles from the hospital, yet the nurses, lab and tech staff, and service and maintenance workers who have been trying to negotiate a fair contract for months felt it was important enough to make a stop to vote before or after work.
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—the healthcare workers said they have been frustrated and angry that management continues to turn a deaf ear to issues of great importance.
“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,” said Terri Ross, an RN at Mount St. Mary’s for the past 32 years. “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.”
“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. Hopefully, when we are back at the table this morning (Thursday, July 26 at 9 a.m.) we will make some progress and can reconsider our vote.”
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