Lawmakers call for competitive raises for Boston Medical Center workers

A group of Massachusetts lawmakers and Boston officials are supporting efforts to provide unionized workers at Boston Medical Center with higher and more competitive pay.

Newly elected and reelected city councilors Henry Santana, Ruthzee Louijeune, Enrique Pepén, and Ben Weber joined healthcare workers at Boston Medical Center on Nov. 8 to deliver a letter related to the issue, according to a news release from 1199SEIU. The letter was signed by 15 local officials and delivered to the office of BMC Health System President and CEO Alastair Bell, MD.

"It's not often that you get a huge percentage of the Boston delegation — either in the state legislature or city council — which shows that this is really important to us," state Sen. Liz Miranda said in the release. "We are here to give a big nudge to BMC to work on this contract because it's far too important not to."

The letter calls on the hospital to offer and negotiate competitive wage increases for 1199SEIU-represented professional and technical workers, and all other members of the care team. 

"Only with a strong contract and competitive job opportunities will BMC recruit and retain the staff needed to continue to provide quality health care to individuals and families throughout the City of Boston and across our Commonwealth," the letter states.

The letter comes as 1199SEIU and the 514-bed academic medical center are negotiating around updating and renewing the "unified" contract for members of the 1199-represented BMC workforce. Union members are employed in patient access, laboratory, ambulatory, radiology and social work, among other titles and departments.

Becker's has reached out to BMC and will update this story when a comment is received.

A spokesperson for BMC shared the following statement with Becker's: "Boston Medical Center greatly values the contribution our professional, technical and administrative colleagues make to our hospital. We are actively in conversation with SEIU and look forward to, once again, negotiating a mutually agreeable contract."

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