Union seeks to reopen contract talks for 78,000 healthcare workers

Citing worker burnout and other challenges, a union seeks to reopen its master contract with 90 hospitals and nursing homes in the New York City area early, Politico reported March 2. 

The contract is between 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York. It covers about 78,000 healthcare workers, including at hospitals such as NewYork-Presbyterian, NYU Langone Medical Center, Montefiore Medical Center, Mount Sinai and Northwell Health's Lenox Hill Hospital, according to Politico.

The three-year contract is set to expire in September 2024.

Now, the union seeks to reopen it to address issues such as workforce challenges and pay.

"The unprecedented issues affecting the healthcare system and workforce made it clear to the union that we could not wait until the expiration of our current contract," union spokesperson Bryn Lloyd-Bollard said in a statement to Politico.

A letter from the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes to the union, which was shared with Becker's, stated that the league, too, is concerned "about the national shortage of healthcare workers, which as you know many of our institutions are working to address in a number of ways. This dynamic continues to be one of the considerations for institutions across New York as they negotiate new labor agreements aimed at ensuring the ability to continue offering competitive salaries and benefits that attract the most talented healthcare professionals to deliver on their mission to provide the highest quality care."

Representatives from the league and union are slated to meet to discuss the union's request to reopen the contract as soon as the week of March 6, according to the letter. 

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