Callen-Lorde Ratifies First Contract

September 30, 2016

Callen-Lorde workers have ratified their first contract with 1199SEIU. The terms of the three-year contract include improvements to employee wages, a new pay scale and several position-specific pay differentials. Additionally, Callen-Lorde has agreed to participate in the union’s Job Security and Training and Upgrading Funds. Nearly 200 Callen-Lorde employees, who are dedicated to caring for the LGBT community in NYC —including nurses, doctors, social workers, front desk and call center staff, and many others—at the center’s two locations in Chelsea voted to join 1199 in January 2015.

Callen-Lorde workers are joining 1199’s over 5,000 members at federally qualified health centers throughout New York City. Callen-Lorde was the first LGBT-focused clinic in New York City to join 1199. As care shifts to community settings in New York City, caregivers in community settings are joining 1199 to ensure good, middle-class jobs and the highest quality of care.

Daniel Jeremy Lopez, a Dental Hygienist, expressed the feeling of many workers at Callen-Lorde.

"My co-workers and I are very pleased about our first union contract. With it, we can increase transparency, feel secure in our jobs and have a better working relationship with management toward our shared goal of providing the best care to our LGBTQ community. With no-cost healthcare for our families, better wages and collective voice, we will retain good staff and give our patients consistent care with the same providers."

David Kranz is Director of 1199SEIU’s Professional and Technical Department, and served as chief negotiator for this contract. He too is pleased an agreement has been negotiated.

“We are very happy to have negotiated a fair contract which creates fair and just wage scales, recognizes employees’ experience, and extends existing no-cost health care to these dedicated health care workers,” he said. “Most importantly, this is a contract which gives employees due process and truly empowers them in their relationship with management, which will in turn allow for a true partnership to further the mission of Callen-Lorde in serving New York City’s LGBTQ community and beyond. We truly believe this contract lays the basis of a healthy alliance between 1199 and Callen-Lorde which will serve the patients well.”

Callen-Lorde management is also pleased to enter into a collaborative relationship with 1199SEIU.

“We are pleased to be able to offer enhanced benefits and compensation packages to our employees, all of whom work tirelessly to achieve our core mission of providing sensitive and quality health care and supportive services to New York’s LGBTQ communities and those living with HIV, regardless of ability to pay,” said Wendy Stark, Callen-Lorde’s Executive Director.

“We look forward to partnering with 1199 to continue to advocate for our patients and for policies that advance community healthcare.”