Today we welcome 130 new members from Brookhaven Memorial Medical Center into the 1199SEIU family. The technical employees, including: Radiographers, Certified Surgical Technologists, Ultrasound Technologists and CAT Scan Technologists at the hospital in Patchogue, Long Island, voted 93-18 to join our union.
“I have worked at Brookhaven on and off since 1978 and have wanted to have a union here ever since then,” said Alice Whidden, an X-Ray Technologist for the ER and OR, who was very active in the victorious union campaign.
“I could never understand why the other techs were not for the union before now. They said it was not for them. I told them that nurses and teachers have strong unions. Why shouldn’t medical techs bargain collectively for contracts too?
“I really appreciate the 1199 retirement benefits, as I will be 62 next month. But the younger people here have realized that coming together in a union will improve their wages and conditions long before its time to retire,” added Ms Whidden.
Joan Brunzel-Marra, a CAT Scan Technologist, said the unit was “ecstatic” about voting to join 1199SEIU. “My theme throughout the campaign was that we needed to ‘make our jobs great again!’”
“We are no longer ‘at-will’ employees subject to management doing whatever it wanted without any repercussions,” she added.
Ms Brunzel-Marra said the unit faced a tough anti-union campaign from management as the activist committee was coming together. “But we were kept well informed about what they would do, so we didn’t let it intimidate us,” she added.
Brookhaven is in the process of being re-named Long Island Medical Center. In the meantime, by providing compassionate and professional care to people on Long Island, our Brookhaven hospital colleagues embody the spirit of the 1199 local.
1199SEIU is the largest healthcare workers union in the US, with more than 400,000 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 Brookhaven voted to join our union for 1199’s pension, job security, affordable quality healthcare and educational benefits.