Hospital, union reach agreement

GLOVERSVILLE – Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home and 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East reached a contract agreement last month.

“The two negotiating teams worked hard to bring about an agreement that was fair for the hospital and for our valued employees,” hospital spokeswoman Cheryl McGrattan said. “Throughout it all, it was apparent that people were putting patients first.”

The union includes more than 375 hospital workers, including certified nursing assistants, nursing assistants, licensed practical nurses, laboratory and radiation technicians, and dietary, housekeeping, central supply, pharmacy and maintenance employees.

Both the union and hospital said they were pleased the two could reach an agreement that was best for both sides.

“The caregivers at the hospital and nursing home have come to an agreement with the employer, which is ultimately good for the workers and Nathan Littauer – and therefore the entire community, who depends on the quality services they provide,” 1199SEIU spokeswoman Mindy Berman said.

Berman said the contract includes raises but would release no details.

McGrattan referred questions about contract terms to Berman.

“Nathan Littauer credits our 1199 members for their foresightedness. These are uncertain times for any health care organization,” said Larry Kelly, hospital president and CEO, adding, “Their ability to look forward is to be commended.”

The contract was ratified May 16 by the 1199SEIU members.

The contract is effective July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2015.

Maureen Tomlinson, the Nathan Littauer 1199 SEIU organizer who attended all the bargaining sessions, said, “This contract provides our members with some security that enables workers to take care of their own families, at the same time they are caring for patients and the frail and elderly at the extended care facility. For all 1199SEIU members, quality jobs means quality care.”

Nathan Littauer Hospital union members and their supporters called for a fair contract during a candlelight vigil in front of the hospital in March.

The union had been negotiating with the hospital for just under a year.