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CMH extends union contract through Nov. 30; negotiations with SEIU continue

Sep 24, 2020 6:00 am
Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media Columbia Memorial Health has extended to November 30, its contract with employees represented by the 1199 Service Employees International Union as negotiations continue, union spokeswoman Mindy Berman said September 23. All 12 members of the 1199 SEIU negotiating committee, representing 800 employees, attended talks September 22, as more than 80 employees appeared in person at the Hudson consolidated firehouse and more than 25 attended via conference call, Berman said. The negotiating session lasted six hours; the next session is scheduled for September 30, also at the firehouse. Represented employees congregated outside the firehouse during negotiations. Jim Patrick, a retired CMH x-ray technologist and member of the bargaining committee, is now a per diem employee. “The stress levels have really gone up,” Patrick said of the hospital’s changing work environment. Danielle Downes, a patient care assistant, held a sign outside the firehouse with the words, “More than PRAISE, We need a RAISE!“ Her point of view was based on her own experience and all that she has witnessed from co-workers. “I work a lot of overtime to make ends meet and a lot of my co-workers have second and third jobs,” she said. Also outside the firehouse, nurses signed a petition to protect their sick days, holidays and vacation days instead of moving to a paid time-off policy. Hospital and union representatives had good discussion on how to address recruitment and staff retention, Berman said. “We know there is a lot of work to be done, but the members felt we were moving in a good direction, although disappointed that the 0 percent raise is still on the table,” she said. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.
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