New York 1199ers to Rally February 29for a Fair Contract at St. Mary’s, Queens

January 30, 2013

1199SEIU members and their supporters will rally on February 23 at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside, Queens to demand a fair contract.

St. Mary’s workers – 90 Registered Nurses and 230 service and maintenance workers – voted overwhelmingly in the summer of 2011 for representation by 1199SEIU. Since then, St. Mary’s management has refused to negotiate a fair contract. St. Mary’s workers dedicate their lives to caring for chronically ill and disabled children. Some of their patients spend their entire lives at the institution and the caregivers become their surrogate parents.

“I put so much time and effort in. It’s not just a job. I make sure all their needs are being met,” says chef Mary Ibanez. “I don’t just take care of patients. I put my heart into everything. I have my own way of studying dietary orders – why does a certain kid need this or that? I know how crucial it is. I know how important our work is.”

Yet, St. Mary’s management refuses to provide affordable healthcare for workers like Ibanez. Management has refused to come to the table or produce adequate documentation for their financial claims. This fall, while the administration claimed they couldn’t afford to pay for workers’ benefits, St. Mary’s opened a new $110 million pavilion.

“If kids at the hospital are able to walk again it’s not because of that new building, it’s because of the people inside of it,” says Ibanez. “Now we just want to be taken care of.”

What: Rally for a Fair Contract at St. Mary’s Hospital for Children!

When: 2/23/13 from 11:30 AM to 2:30 PM

Where: St. Mary’s Hospital for Children

29-01 216th Street

Bayside, NY