Ascension Rochester hospital workers have overwhelmingly ratified a 1-year contract with wage increases of 4% to 19.6% with the most common increase at 5.8%. This contract victory represents will provide workers with an immediate raise with the chance to reopen contract negotiations again next year. SEIU agreed to a 1-year contract because it is clear that we are not bargaining with individual hospitals but a national health system with a for-profit motive despite receiving non-profit tax benefits. Their aim is to keep wages low, staffing limited and contingent, and profits high. Over the next year, we plan to bring together our members at APRH with members at Ascension Borgess in Kalamazoo and Allegan, as well as build solidarity and coalition with other Unions in Michigan and nationally that represent Ascension workers.
Workers also won MLK as a new holiday and a $500 bonus. They won increased shift differentials, weekend differentials, and preceptor pay. Following the repeal of Right to Work, the contract includes an agency shop provision that will create power in the workplace with every worker in the bargaining unit contributing to the Union either as members or through agency fees. Workers also passed language to reform a discipline policy that unfairly targeted workers, creating a more balanced and cooperative workplace. A total of 27 members joined the Union showing their confidence, support, and solidarity following the contract victory.