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Latest News - May 2012

May 2, 2012
Union, Samaritan hospitals agree on contract
Source: The Herald
By: Steve Lathrop

Members of the Service Employees International Union, Local 49 have reached a contract agreement with Samaritan Albany General Hospital and Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.

Tuesday’s announcement resolved issues that had kept the two sides at the bargaining table since Jan. 5.

“Given the economic circumstances it’s what we could expect for now,” said Virginia Jordan of SEIU. “There was give and take on both sides.”

The agreement includes items related to salary, benefits, performance evaluation timelines, hours of employment and overtime, seniority and layoffs as well as job classification-specific wage increases.

“Negotiations are about listening to each other and that’s what happened,” said Scott Russell of Samaritan’s labor relations team. “Both sides got behind this. It’s always good to have a signed contract.”

In addition to a 3 percent annual step increase for eligible employees, the deal provides for a 2 percent across-the-board increase annually through 2014. This year’s increase is retroactive to Feb. 1.

“We are happy with what was agreed upon for now,” Jordan said. “As things improve we can hope for better.”

SEIU represents about 600 caregivers at Samaritan. Jordan said that the new contracted was ratified by a near unanimous vote.

Jordan said union members were glad to have the negotiations completed.

“We know we have a great place to work and we work with and for great people,” she said. “By and large we think it was a good deal.”



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