HCA workers at 19 hospitals approve contract

Members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East at 19 HCA Healthcare hospitals in Florida have approved a new three-year contract. 

The union represents about 10,000 nurses, certified nursing assistants, technicians, dietary aides and other healthcare workers at the facilities, according to a June 28 news release from 1199SEIU. HCA's website states that it operates 182 hospitals and more than 2,300 care sites in 20 states and the United Kingdom. 

Union members voted nearly unanimously to approve the contract after months of negotiation with management, according to the union release. 

1199SEIU said the deal includes:

  • Across-the-board raises
  • A wage grid with no salary caps in the first two contract years
  • Wage equity provisions "that will raise a current employee's salary to match a new hire (with equal experience) brought in at a higher rate"
  • An agreement by management to provide a copy of the staffing matrix if requested
  • An agreement by management to compensate caregivers when they are "called off" an understaffed shift
  • Significant increases in "on call" and "differential" pay

"Caregivers and all our healthcare employees are committed to provide the very best and safest care possible, but we need to be respected, protected and paid fairly," James Streitenberger, a member of the 1199SEIU Bargaining Committee and lead patient care technician at HCA Florida Trinity Hospital, said in the union release. "This new contract is a solid step in the right direction."

HCA shared the following statement with Becker's: "We are pleased to confirm that the agreements with 1199 SEIU Florida have been ratified for the community hospitals involved in these negotiations. Now that the negotiation process is complete, we are excited to move forward and want to thank all of our caregivers who are dedicated to providing compassionate care to the communities we serve."

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