NYU Caregivers Score Bombshell Contract Victory; Hospital System Going Back in the League Multi-Employer Bargaining Unit

December 20, 2018

For Immediate Release: December 10, 2018

Contact:    Amanda Torres-Price | (917) 886-9311
                    Mark Riley | 347) 637-0621

Workers Fought Against Threats to Healthcare Benefits

New York, NY- After three contract extensions, months of bargaining and over two years of uncertainty and fight-back, 1199SEIU workers employed by NYU Langone have reached a new contract with their employer. As a result of caregivers showing NYU they will do what it takes to maintain the quality of jobs and care for New Yorkers, NYU is rejoining the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes, and workers will be covered by the terms and conditions of the League agreement settled in July 2018. The contract maintains all health benefits, includes annual raises over the life of the contract, and continues NYU’s payments into the 1199 pension and benefit funds. It is subject to ratification by the membership.

 “NYU is a world-class hospital because of the quality of its workforce, and we need and deserve world-class healthcare benefits,” said Shaneka Castro-Birden, an Operating Room Scheduler at NYU Langone-Tisch. “Like many of my co-workers, I have a family to take care of, and I have my own healthcare needs. I’m so proud of my co-workers for joining me in making our voices heard!” Contract bargaining between NYU and 1199SEIU began in summer 2018, but this contract victory concludes a much longer struggle. In 2016, NYU withdrew from the League in the middle of the contract, claiming it could do better by employees. Workers immediately feared that NYU made this move to erode their union strength and slash the healthcare benefits they and their families have depended on for decades.

Workers responded by showing NYU they weren’t going to pay for its decision to leave the League. Concerned that if NYU eroded the quality of jobs it would negatively impact the world-class care NYU is so proud of, workers held informational pickets, educated their co-workers, spoke out on social media and delivered petitions to their department heads committing themselves to going on strike if they needed to.

“We were willing to do what it takes. We understood that this is about more than us—it’s about protecting standards for future generations,” said Gail Patterson, a Dietary Assistant at NYU Langone-Brooklyn.

“This contract is the result of working women and men standing together, and standing strong for what they have earned,” said George Gresham, President of 1199SEIU. “1199SEIU members work day in and day out to provide excellent care, and the idea that their own health benefits were at risk of being compromised was completely unacceptable. They fought back to protect their own access to the quality healthcare they provide, and in doing so, they also fought to protect access to quality healthcare for millions of New Yorkers. This is a true win for working people!”

1199’s nearly 7,500 NYU workers serve communities in Manhattan at NYU Langone-Tisch and NYU Langone Orthopedic Hospital (formerly HJD), and at NYU Langone-Brooklyn (formerly Lutheran). They include a variety of titles, including patient care technicians, technologists, social workers, physical therapists, clerical and food services, and registered nurses (at LOH only).


The mission of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is to advocate for quality healthcare and good jobs for all. With over 450,000 nurses and healthcare workers throughout the East Coast, they are the nation’s largest and fastest-growing healthcare union.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @1199SEIU, or visit our website at 1199SEIU.org.