HUDSON, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Columbia Memorial Hospital (CMH) has been in contract negotiations with 1199SEIU,  the largest healthcare union in the country, for the last year. On Friday, February 5, union members voted to ratify new contracts that increase wages for new hires and give raises at about 2% a year.

Other items in the contract that union members found beneficial include:

  • Retroactive pay for the year with no contract
  • Getting technicians and service people differential pay for working nights and weekends
  • Lowering health care cost for team members with families

1199SEIU members say they believe they benefited from an informational picket held on a frigid day in December—two weeks before the first anniversary of the last contract’s expiration. It was reported to be the most robust outcry for fair wages that CMH had seen in years.

“Today, we are pleased that the hospital did finally step up and come to the conclusion that they had to offer significantly more to the members and their families than the initially proposed,” said Gregory Speller, Hudson Valley/Capital Executive Vice President. “We do appreciate the change of direction from the hospital administration and their hard work getting the contract done.”

“Our goal from day one was to work out an agreement that was competitive and sustainable and did not compromise our ability to meet the community’s ever-changing healthcare needs,” said Bill Van Slyke, CMH Spokesperson. “We believe this agreement meets all of those critical benchmarks.”

Speller says more still needs to be done at the hospital to raise standards for the essential health care workers and increase the quality of care each patient deserves.

The four-year contract is backdated to January 1, 2020, and lasts until December 31, 2023.