Cooley Dickinson workers ratify 3-year contract

Staff Writer
Published: 1/14/2020 11:54:58 PM
Modified: 1/14/2020 11:54:10 PM

NORTHAMPTON — More than 500 health care workers at Cooley Dickinson Hospital have ratified a new union contract that will provide them with wage increases of 6.5 to 12.2 percent over the next two years.

The 525 service and tech workers at Cooley Dickinson are members of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, which represents nearly 60,000 health care workers across the state. Other benefits included in the new three-year contract, which the union says workers “overwhelmingly” ratified, include a training fund for new education for workers, daily overtime compensation, more job protections when an employee is ill and a new labor-management committee.

“I’m thrilled to win this contract that provides important and significant new benefits for us and those we care for,” Kim Wade, a CT technologist at the hospital, said in a union statement.

Christine Mollison, a respiratory therapist, said in the statement that the contract also creates a more equitable pay scale and “elevates our voices on the job and recognizes our experience as caregivers.”

In its statement, Cooley Dickinson Health Care spokeswoman Christina Trinchero said the hospital is pleased that the employees ratified the contract.

“We appreciate the professionalism and respect demonstrated by representatives from the union and the hospital throughout the negotiations,” Trinchero said. “Both sides were committed to creating a fair collective bargaining agreement for our employees.”

Service and technical workers voted to join the labor union in 2017. For technical workers, it was a tight vote, with the employees voting 41-40 in favor of the union after ballots were challenged.

Cooley Dickinson is part of the Boston-based Partners HeathCare network, which also includes Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. Last year, workers at Brigham and Women’s ratified their first contract as members of 1199SEIU.

Dusty Christensen can be reached at dchristensen@gazettenet.com.

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