Members of SEIU District 1199 at Mercy Regional Medical Center last Monday overwhelmingly approved a new contract. The contract is a milestone in the fight for fair wages for all workers and members of our Union.
In our continuing fight to improve staffing and working conditions, improvements were made in areas such as representation and distribution of assignments. Our member bargaining committee was also able to secure significant wages increases, bringing those of us earning less than $15 an hour up and above $15 by January 2022. In addition, there will be increases for those already above $15 to recognize the years of dedication and hard work that it took to get there.
This victory was not easily won and was the culmination of years of work not only in the chapter by members and leaders but also by SEIU and our allies in the Fight for $15 – the local and national fight to increase wages and deliver dignity for all workers. The Union has organized workers across the country to advocate and demonstrate for a living wage, resulting in minimum wage increases from San Francisco and Seattle to Illinois and New York.
Under this new 5-year contract, the average wage will increase 21%. Some members will see even greater wage gains. These increases will mean we can give up a second job or send our children to a quality daycare, preschool, or later to college. For all of us, these increases recognize the work that we all do every day to care for our patients and our families.