Union members ratify labor agreement at Memorial's Schoellkopf Health Centerby jmaloni
Employees at the Schoellkopf Health Center have unanimously approved a three-year wage and benefit agreement covering licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, unit clerks and laundry aides.
The employees covered by the agreement are members of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East. The 120-bed Schoellkopf Health Center is a skilled nursing facility operated by Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center on its downtown Niagara Falls campus.
The agreement includes substantial wage increases each year of the agreement, along with increased employer pension contributions and various new worker protections. Reached as a result of bargaining by employee and management negotiating committees, it takes effect retroactively on May 1 and will be in effect through April 30, 2017.
The Schoellkopf Health Center recently attained a five-star quality rating from Nursing Home Compare, the official U.S. Government website for Medicare.
"Nursing home workers such as those at Schoellkopf Health Center perform some of the most difficult jobs in health care. Residents and their family members trust us to provide the most compassionate care, often to those least able to care or advocate for themselves. We very much value our relationship with 1199 SEIU and we're pleased we've been able to work cooperatively to reach a fair agreement," Memorial Medical Center President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said.
"We work hard to offer our residents the best care possible," said 32-year licensed practical nurse Linda Duke. "After caring so much about this work, it feels good to be appreciated. In today's economy, it's not always easy to make the gains that we have in this contract."