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In Tough Economy SEIU-UHW Members' Wage Increases Far Exceed the National Average

Wednesday, December 23, 2009 Corporate News J E 4
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OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 22 Members of Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers-West who secured contracts in 2009 received wage increases nearly double the national average despite an economy in California that is among the worst in the nation.

"SEIU-UHW hospital members have won amazing settlements in 2009 thanks to the unity of 150,000 members and their commitment to improving work and patient care standards," said Dave Regan, trustee of SEIU-UHW. "That members have achieved these contracts in this economy makes it even more impressive."

In 2009, SEIU-UHW-represented hospital workers, on average, received a 4.3% wage increase for the first year of their contract. That does not include the back pay and signing bonuses many members also received on top of the wage hikes. In comparison, an analysis of collective bargaining data by the Bureau of National Affairs (BNA) shows that nationally the average first-year wage increase bargained was 2.3% for 2009.

"Given the difficult economy, we knew contract negotiations would be challenging this year. Being a part of a strong union, we had the support we needed to sit down at the bargaining table and get a strong contract. It not only included an increase in wages, but protected our healthcare," said Bruce Allen, a Radiologic Technologist at Sutter Roseville Medical Center and a member of the SEIU-UHW bargaining team.

Over 7,300 SEIU-UHW members at 20 facilities are covered by contracts settled in 2009. This includes a first year wage increase of 7.8% at Sutter Roseville Medical Center, 3% at John Muir Medical Centers in Brentwood, Concord, and Walnut Creek, 6% increase at Tri-City Medical Center in Oceanside, and 4% at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto.

"We negotiated a great contract this year, despite the economy. It wasn't easy, but with the strength of SEIU-UHW uniting us we did it," said Clarissa Castro, a RAD Records Tech and member of the bargaining committee at Tri-City Medical Center.

Hospital workers in Daughters of Charity system facilities in both Northern California -- O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Saint Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy, Seton Medical Center in Daly City and Seton Coastside in Moss Beach -- and Southern California -- St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood -- received at least a 3% increase, as well as 18 months of back pay totaling thousands of dollars for many members

The other contracts settled by SEIU-UHW members in 2009 include, Alameda Hospital, Chinese Hospital in San Francisco, Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital in Hollister, Moreno Valley Community Hospital, Sutter Amador Medical Center in Jackson, Sutter Delta Medical Center in Antioch, Sutter Solano Medical Center in Vallejo, and Washington Hospital in Fremont.

SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West (SEIU-UHW) is the largest hospital and healthcare union in the western United States with more than 150,000 members. We unite every type of healthcare worker with a mission to achieve high-quality healthcare for all. SEIU-UHW is part of the 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the nation's fastest-growing union. Learn more at www.seiu-uhw.org.

Contact: Adriana Surfas, 510.869.2246, media@seiu-uhw.org

SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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