Thousands of hospital workers across Greater Boston joined 1199 in 2009. Find out more about this city on the move!

A Victory for Hospital Workers! Click here to read about the contract that is making a difference in the lives of patients, healthcare workers and their families.


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The Caritas Contract: A Victory for Hospital Workers!

The state’s largest community-based healthcare system and the state’s largest healthcare workers union announced on Friday, December 11, 2010 that they have reached an historic four-year labor agreement that will enhance jobs and care delivery at four Caritas Christi hospitals.  The innovative agreement establishes a series of joint labor-management initiatives and committees to enhance quality care delivery across the facilities.

Contract Highlights:
• All workers will now earn at least $12.62 per hour.
• All workers will receive a 3% raise at the start of the contract and 4% in October 2010 (That’s 7% in one year alone!)
• All workers received a $350 sign on bonus.
• All workers are now eligible for the 1199 Training and Upgrading Fund (Up to 6 credits per semester!)
• Significant job protections including no subcontracting.
• Lower health care premiums – especially for those enrolled in family plans.

Victory dates:
• St. Elizabeth’s – April 8, 2009
• Carney – June 10, 2009
• Union Hospital – July 8, 2009
• Norwood Hospital – October 6, 2009


Hospital Victories in 2009 Bring Significant Boost to Local Economy

2009’s historic union victories in the Greater Boston area will mean a higher quality of care for our patients and a better quality of life for our families. But a new study shows that the contract between 1199SEIU and Caritas Christi Healthcare will also improve the condition of our communities, generating a $51 million economic boost to the state of Massachusetts.

The impact on the families of low-wage workers has been dramatic and immediate. All workers covered by the Caritas contract will now see their hourly wages brought to a minimum of $12.62 per hour. A full-time dietary aide who made $8/hour before January 1, 2010 will see a 65% jump in pay over the life of the contract, including 59% in the first year alone. That’s over $8,300 for the year, or $161 each week – about the average grocery bill for a family of four living in Boston.

These higher wages will translate to more spending, especially for the lowest wage workers that are seeing the biggest gains. Reduced health insurance costs that were also won by the Caritas workers mean more income for other things, and greater job and personal security.


Norwood Hospital workers vote to join 1199SEIU in Massachusetts

On Tuesday, October 6 ballots were counted at Norwood Hospital and hospital workers voted 302 to 106 to unite in 1199SEIU. Nearly 600 workers are joining their co-workers from St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and Carney Hospital. The bargaining units include service and technical workers. These recent victories come on the heels of an historic fair union elections accord between Caritas Christi and 1199SEIU.

“I have been a CNA for 30 years, including 12 years at Norwood, and I love it,” said ICU Nursing Assistant Mary Nuahn. “The passion that I have for my patients continues to grow and I am excited for the new opportunities we will have as members of 1199.  It will not only benefit us, but also patient care.”

Workers at Norwood Hospital, Carney Hospital and St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center have pledged to support the organizing efforts of workers at other Caritas Christi facilities where union election campaigns are expected to launch in the near future.


400 Workers at Union Hospital Join 1199SEIU in Massachusetts

On Wednesday, July 8, workers at Union Hospital in Lynn, MA voted 199 to 71 to join together in 1199SEIU. The new members of 1199SEIU in the service unit now join registered nurses and other professionals at Union Hospital who have been members of 1199 since 1986. The victory could not have happened without the dedication and hard work of the current delegates at Union Hospital — who wanted to make sure their co-workers were united with them in 1199.

“In this economy, knowing that you’ve got a steady job is something money just can’t buy,” said Paula Brewster, a Certified Nursing Assistant at Union Hospital. “And with 1199, together we’ll be able to make sure we’ve got the job security we need to have peace of mind – even when times are tough.”

The successful vote was also hailed by community leaders as a win not just for caregivers, but also for patients and the community.


“The health care sector in Massachusetts is a critical component of the Commonwealth’s economy and touches the lives of many North Shore  residents,” said Congressman John Tierney.  “Keeping our hospitals - like Union Hospital - strong enhances our community. As has been seen from the positive relationships already maintained with union employees, representation - like that through 1199SEIU - could serve to give caretakers a meaningful voice in the success of their hospital and in the high quality of their patients’ care.”

The vote comes after 1199SEIU and Partners HealthCare came to an agreement on free and fair voting conditions, placing the decision about whether to form a union directly into the hands of caregivers. This innovative approach allows health care workers to improve conditions for their patients and themselves, but also helps to preserve the long-term sustainability of their hospital.


Workers at Caritas Carney Hospital in Boston Vote to Join 1199SEIU

As citywide campaign by hospital workers to unite in 1199SEIU gains momentum, workers choose united voice to ensure Carney is best place to work and receive care

Following a two-day, hospital-wide vote, nearly 500 caregivers at Caritas Carney Hospital in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston voted overwhelmingly (79% YES) to join 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest labor union of healthcare workers in Massachusetts. Carney Hospital is part of Caritas Christi Health Care, the largest community based hospital system in the state.

Workers at the Dorchester facility who have now joined 1199SEIU include respiratory therapists, radiology techs, licensed practical nurses, nurse assistants, pharmacy techs, clerical workers, housekeepers, dietary workers and many others. Just two months ago, more than 800 at Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in the Brighton neighborhood of Boston also voted to join 1199SEIU.

“This has been a long time coming, and we are thrilled,” said Carney Hospital Nuclear Medicine Technician Kathy Riley. “We are devoted to our patients and this community, and we’re excited about working together to make the quality of care at our hospital the best that it can be. We’re proud to continue the momentum of hospital workers across Boston in joining 1199SEIU. Free and fair union elections for all.” The successful vote was hailed by community leaders as a win not just for caregivers, but also for patients and the community.

“Carney is so much more than just a community hospital - it’s a real part of the community,” said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino in a statement. “Generations of Dorchester families have turned to Carney for quality care, good jobs and a ray of hope. Joining 1199SEIU means Carney workers will protect what they’ve built - and improve things for the future. Why can’t every hospital in the city of Boston have 1199?”

“When workers have a free choice about uniting together, it not only allows health care workers to improve conditions for their patients and themselves, but also helps to preserve the long-term sustainability of their hospital,” said 1199SEIU President George Gresham. “And a strong Carney Hospital will help Dorchester continue to be one of the strongest and most vibrant communities in Boston. We are so proud to welcome the workers of Carney to 1199SEIU.”


More than 800 Workers at Caritas St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Make History with Vote to join 1199SEIU

In one of the largest union votes at a Boston area hospital in decades, workers unite for the best patient care, for their families and each other.

Healthcare workers at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, the largest medical center in theCaritas Christi Health Care chain, today announced they have overwhelmingly voted to join 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.

The vote means more than 800 St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center workers will officially join 1199SEIU, just weeks after the announcement of an historic accord between 1199SEIU, the Area Trades Council, and Caritas Christi Health Care ensuring free and fair voting conditions for employees while they are deciding whether to join a union. Caritas Christi is the largest community-based health system in Massachusetts.

1199SEIU is the largest union of healthcare workers in Massachusetts. Workers who participated in the vote included respiratory therapists, surgical techs, x-ray techs, clerical workers, nursing assistants, housekeepers, dietary workers and many others. A group of skilled maintenance workers also voted to join the Area Trade Council.

“We are overjoyed and thrilled. People were crying with joy in the halls last night,” said St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center Patient Care Assistant Sonia Marshall, “We believe in the mission of St. Elizabeth’s, and we’re excited about working together to make our hospital the best that it can be for our patients and also for hospital workers and our families. We look forward to the day when all of our sisters and brothers across Boston are able to have free and fair union elections.”