Healthcare workers vote to join union in continuation of largest hospital organizing effort in New England history!
Hundreds of hospital workers at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, Massachusetts have voted overwhelmingly to join the state’s largest healthcare union, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. The vote means that the more than 700 hospital workers at Holy Family will now join with thousands of other workers across Massachusetts in several other Caritas Christi Healthcare facilities.
“Healthcare workers across Massachusetts know that in these tough economic times, we must come together to protect the quality of care we provide, the economic health of our hospitals and our communities.” said 1199SEIU President George Gresham. “We’re proud to welcome the workers at Holy Family into the 1199 family – and we’re ready to continue this unprecedented momentum at hospitals throughout Massachusetts.”
The vote included respiratory therapists, radiology techs, licensed practical nurses, nurse assistants, pharmacy techs, paramedics, secretaries, housekeepers, dietary workers and many others. In the past two years alone, thousands of health care workers across Massachusetts have voted to join 1199SEIU for a voice for job security, a better future for their families, and to provide the best patient care.
“Being a part of 1199SEIU is a real benefit to both myself and family,” said Holy Family Hospital Laboratory Secretary, Susan Hoehn. “To have such a great team backing me at all times gives me the security and empowerment that I needed to provide my patients at Holy Family with the highest quality of care possible.”
“We know that when healthcare workers have a voice in the quality of care they provide their patients, the quality of care improves,” said Wanda I. Rivera, Patient Financial Counselor. “I’m excited to be a part of 1199 because I know our voices will be heard. We now have job security as well as fairness.”
In October of 2007, non-union hospital workers across Boston announced their appeal to hospital CEOs to allow free and fair voting conditions when deciding whether to join a union. Caritas Christi Health Care, the largest community based health system in Massachusetts, distinguished itself as the first major health system to forge such an agreement with 1199SEIU in January 2009.