Hopkins Caregivers Ratify Historic Contract

January 1, 1970

Caregivers at Johns Hopkins Hospital are rejoicing the recent ratification of a hard-won contract, which will substantially lift wages for many of the 2,000 technical, maintenance and service workers that the union represents.93 percent of workers voted in favor of the new 4.5-year contract during the ratification held on July 10 and 11. Among the highlights of the contract is the immediate establishment of higher minimum wages for long-term workers: $15/hour for workers with 20 years seniority, and $14.50 for workers with 15 years seniority. The contract also boosts pay for some of the hospital’s lowest-paid workers—many of whom rely on public assistance to supplement their low wages.“This contract will make a real difference in the lives of Hopkins workers, and sets a stronger standard for healthcare workers all across Baltimore,” said food service worker Michelle Horton. Employed at Hopkins for 9 years, her hourly wage will increase nearly $3, from $11.35 to $14.13.Management’s initial refusal to offer caregivers a reasonable contract when negotiations began in March led the union to wage a campaign against Hopkins exposing the hospital’s poverty pay. To bring attention to their fight for a fair contract, caregivers held a three-day strike in April and a well-attended rally in May, and spoke out publicly through radio ads, town-hall meetings and newspaper editorials.In a July 8 editorial, the Baltimore Sun said the contract “represents a victory not only for the hospital and members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East but for Baltimore.”- See more at: http://www.1199seiu.org/hopkins_caregivers_ratify_historic_contract#sthash.FM6twm6x.dpuf