1,000+ New York healthcare workers negotiate raises

Members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East at Loretto locations in Syracuse, N.Y., and at The Commons on St.  Anthony in Auburn, N.Y., approved new contracts. 

The union represents more than 1,000 licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, certified home health aides, housekeepers, unit secretaries, maintenance workers, drivers, advanced meal workers and other healthcare job titles, according to a news release from 1199SEIU. 

According to the union, the agreements retain the existing pension, health insurance, education/training benefits, and include across-the-board wage increases of 12 percent over three years. Start rates for newly hired union workers at Loretto will increase to $17.50 per hour  for dietary/housekeeping, $22 per hour for certified nurse assistants, $31 per hour for licensed  practical nurses, $19.50 per hour for home health aide (geriatric caregiver), and $22 per hour for  maintenance. 

"With everything going on, we really needed good news," Kristina Dean, certified nurse assistant at The Commons on St. Anthony, said in the union release. "So very happy and proud to say that my co-workers and I got the acknowledgement we have been waiting for quite some time! Our union went above and beyond to make sure the workers got what we deserved."

Nancy Williams, chief people officer of Loretto, shared the following statement with Becker's: "This new contract is the result of our joint commitment to support the dedicated team of employees that cares for our residents every day, and is vital to overcoming the healthcare staffing shortage we are all facing in this industry. It positions us to be highly competitive on wages, offer unique benefits that continue to demonstrate the innovation and priority we place on ensuring we offer viable career pathways throughout our organization, and is a clear reflection of a positive partnership between Loretto and 1199SEIU."

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