September 30, 2014
By Stephanie West
Dunkirk, NY – After months of difficult negotiations, the 1199SEIU healthcare workers at Brooks Memorial voted 4 to 1 to ratify a new collective bargaining agreement with the hospital. “I was very happy to see so many people come out to vote today,” said Ashley Raymond, a Personal Care Aide and a member of the Bargaining Committee, “after all this time and everything we have been through we are still united and with this contract we can concentrate on providing quality care. That’s what we do.”
The agreement maintains quality standards for workers. The health insurance benefits for the life of the 3-year agreement stays in tact and vacation accrual for current employees remain the same. The 1199SEIU Training and Upgrading Fund continues to be available at no cost to 1199 members.
The new contract includes much needed improvements to pension contribution rates, a wage increase starting in May 1, 2015, maintenance of step progression, and job security language.
“To me it is a relief to have bargaining over and our new contract in place,” says Angel Correa, a Dietary Aide at the hospital, “Now we can get back to what we truly love to do; caring for our patients and making them smile.”