1199SEIU reaches deal with LVHH

Stephon Johnson | 7/19/2018, 11:08 a.m.
Local health care workers can now focus on their jobs after agreeing to a new contract.

Local health care workers can now focus on their jobs after agreeing to a new contract.

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East announced that they’ve reached a three-year deal with the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York. The new contract includes an annual wage increase, preservation of benefits and pension fund protection.

“Through this agreement, we have maintained the benefits that help to protect the health and well-being of 1199SEIU families while securing guaranteed annual raises for the next three years and protecting our pension fund to ensure that our members are able to retire with dignity,” said George Gresham, president of 1199SEIU. “1199SEIU health care workers provide the dedicated, quality care that sets our facilities apart from the rest, and we are pleased that this contract reflects the wages and benefits they have worked so hard to secure.”

The new agreement includes a 3 percent annual increase in wages to take place Oct. 1 of 2018, 2019 and 2020. All existing worker benefits (including health care coverage without out-of-pocket expenses) will remain, as well as pension fund protections for current and future members.

It was all Maurice DePalo, a pharmacist at Montefiore Medical Center, needed to hear.

“This new contract keeps 1199SEIU in the forefront of the industry when it comes to salary, health benefits and pensions,” said DePalo. “Our health coverage, with zero copay, gives me peace of mind. The three-year, 3 percent annual wage increase is virtually unheard of these days. I’m very satisfied with the work our leadership and membership did to accomplish this agreement.”

“This agreement takes meaningful steps to put the pension fund on a more sustainable path—ensuring it will be there for future retirees, like it has been for current retirees," said LVHH President Bruce McIver in a statement to the AmNews.

Last week, 1199SEIU officials said that workers were “troubled” by the alleged “race to the bottom” approach of LVHH that would make it difficult for local health care facilities to retain their workforce.

In recent years, both parties have fought the state for more funding and fought President Donald Trump’s attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Although both parties shared a common enemy in Washington, workers had set a deadline of July 13. If management had refused to come to the bargaining table by then, workers said they wouldn’t come back until contracts expired Sept. 30.