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.