Healthcare Workers at Mercy Medical Center in Long Island Vote Yes to Join 1199SEIU

January 20, 2017

Today we welcome more than 500 new members from Mercy Medical Center into the 1199SEIU family.

The PCAs, Registrars, Unit Secretaries, BHAs, food service workers, environmental services workers and the rest of the support staff at the hospital in Rockville Centre, Long Island, refused to be intimidated by a ferocious management campaign and voted by 262 to 174 to become members of our union.

The anti-union campaign they were up against was so aggressive that Mercy Medical Center is now facing Federal government charges.

Regina Heaney, admitting clerk in Patient Access, said: “I got involved in the union committee after listening to a lot of stories from colleagues around the hospital about being badly treated. People were seeing their benefits being changed for the worse in the middle of the year and we had nowhere to turn.

“Finally, we can stand together and support one another. We now have a say in our conditions, which we never had. We have hope for the future and that is something they cannot take away from us.”

Valerie Baggee, a registration specialist at Mercy, said she voted “Yes” for fair treatment and respect.

“We take pride in taking care of our community and now we have a voice for affordable benefits and improved working conditions to better take care of our own families. For me, it really came down to respect,” she said.

“It is about being able to work with dignity. We are the people who do the most work and have the hardest jobs-taking care of our patients.

“We voted to join the union despite being threatened. Many people were afraid. Now we are protected employees. I’m so happy to be calling myself an 1199 member!”

By providing compassionate and professional care to people living and working in Long Island, our Mercy Medical Center colleagues embody the spirit of the 1199 local.

1199SEIU is the largest healthcare worker’s union in the US, with more than 450,000 members in five states along the Eastern seaboard. We are one of the fastest growing unions in the country.

As well as having a larger say in their working lives, the newest members at Mercy voted to join our union to negotiate for the high-quality pension, affordable healthcare, educational benefits and job security that thousands of 1199 members enjoy.