NEW YORK, N.Y. – 1199 SEIU and the League of Voluntary Hospitals have settled a contract covering over 112,000 healthcare workers in New York City. The agreement protects health and childcare benefits, increases money to a struggling pension, and adds temp workers to the union.
The agreement includes an outstanding healthcare plan free of co-pays or premiums. The unions childcare and education fund vouchers will continue. The 3 percent wage increase per year during the life of the contract was a mayor victory for 1199. Temps at hospitals and nursing homes will now be union members.
The main issue for both the union and management was the pension fund. With diminishing reserves management wanted radical cutbacks to the fund while the union asked for increased payments. Under the new agreement management will increase its contributions from 10 percent to 12.6 percent which translates to $200 million dollars during the life of the contract. The union agreed to increase the early retirement from 62 to 62.5 with 25 years rather than 20 years on the job. Penalties for workers who retire prior to age 62.5 were increased from 6 percent per year to 9 percent. New workers would vest in the pension in six years, rather then five years.
With labor unions under attack across the country, gaining this outstanding contract was a huge victory for 1199. The agreement is now awaiting approval by union membersip.