Union says labor deal reached for hospital workers

Staff Reports Posted 4 June 2015 at 12:00 am

MEDINA – The workers for Orleans Community Health have reached a tentative labor deal and called off a one-day strike planned for June 12, officials at 1199SEIU Healthcare Workers East announced this morning.

The union represents 272 employees at Orleans Community Health. Union members must ratify the contract before it takes effect. The vote is next week.

The union said the three-year labor agreement would run from Jan. 1, 2015 to Dec. 31, 2017. The agreement includes annual wage increases that are retroactive and continues step increases.

The deal keeps shift differentials for registered nurses and increased shift differentials for workers in the service and maintenance and LPN and technical bargaining units.

The contract also maintains the workers’ “Training and Education Fund” and keep health benefits without any increases in premiums, deductibles or co-pays, according to the union.

The workers have been without a contract since Dec. 31, 2014. The night of settlement marked 39 times that the workers and the hospital were at the bargaining table, according to the union. A federal mediator was at negotiations for the last 10 sessions.

“We are please that the employer recognized that there is a direct connection between the livelihood of healthcare workers and quality care,” said 1199SEIU organizer Michele Jerge. “For instance, how can healthcare workers assist the injured and ill, if they are worried about making ends at home, or job security? Orleans Community Health is an important employer in this community. Good jobs translate into a local economy that can thrive. Our issues are everyone’s issues.”

The union represents 272 healthcare workers at Orleans Community Health in three different bargaining units: service & maintenance, LPNs & technical, and RNs.