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September 16, 2009 > Workers at Washington Hospital vote to approve new contract

Workers at Washington Hospital vote to approve new contract

Submitted By Adriana Surfas

Washington Township Health care workers voted overwhelmingly (97 percent) to approve a new union contract on Thursday, September 10. "Washington Hospital is a vital health facility for those living in the Fremont and South Bay community," said a Licensed Vocational Nurse II, Rosalie Naguiat at the hospital. "This contract recognizes frontline health workers as partners with management to make Washington Hospital the best for its patients, and for its workers."

The approved contract will begin retroactively to July 2008, when the previous contract expired, and will include 5% immediate pay raise, retroactive to July 2008. 7% additional pay raise over the next two years, with step increases and improved shift differential pay. No changes to employer-provided health insurance. Increased employer contribution to retiree benefits. Workers at the hospital, members of the Service Employees International Union, United Healthcare Workers - West (SEIU-UHW), had gone 14 months without a contract because of the failure of the previous union leaders, who were ousted in January for misconduct, including improperly moving $3 million in members' dues money to a bogus non-profit for their own use.

"In order to attract the best people to our hospital, we have to offer competitive pay and benefits, and this contract gets us started," said Al Ritchon, a technician in the Central Supply Department at the hospital. "We have to recognize and reward everyone in the hospital who help make Washington a great facility- administrative staff, service workers, and direct patient care providers - not just the CEO."

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