Contract approved at New York system provides up to 18% wage increases

Members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East at Dunkirk, N.Y.-based Brooks-TLC Hospital System recently approved a new three-year contract. 

The contract covers more than 150 hospital workers, according to a July 5 union news release. This includes service and maintenance and technical workers as well as registered nurses at Gowanda (N.Y.) Urgent Care Center.

The contract includes up to 18 percent in wage increases for union members, said 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. Dietary, environmental service workers, and several other job titles will receive an 8 percent wage increase in the first contract year. Other titles will receive a 5 percent wage increase in the first contract year, a 5 percent wage increase in the second contract year and another 5 percent wage increase in the final year of the agreement. 

Additionally, employees with 25 years of service at the rural facility will receive another 3 percent wage increase, the union said.

Other provisions highlighted by the union are:

  • An additional wage step as well as the general wage increase for job titles within the S-grades.
  • An additional 8 percent wage increase for job grades S2-S5, which includes registered nurses at the Gowanda Urgent Care Center.
  • An additional $1.50 per hour in preceptor pay for caregivers who provide training.
  • Employer-provided pension increases in each contract year.

"It was a fair and mutual agreement between management and the union members. With this new contract, our wages and benefits are now more competitive with area hospitals," Jill Feinen, mammography technologist, said in the union release.

Brooks-TLC President and CEO Ken Morris shared the following statement with Becker's: "Both sides walked away feeling as if they’d won — the sign of a good negotiation. We agreed to these terms because our employees deserved more. In fact, the Brooks-TLC management team requested the addition of shift differentials for evenings and nights to reward our existing staff and encourage more applicants for some of the harder-to-fill positions.Years of low wage increases have made it very difficult to compete with the local businesses in filling these critical roles that support patient care. Our priority was to address the workforce by improving wages to be more comparable to the local market in attracting and retaining additional talent." 

The contract runs through April 30, 2026.

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