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News ::
Star of David workers win first contract (english)
02 Apr 2003
Modified: 25 Apr 2003
After waging a year-and-a-half long battle to win dignity and respect at work, caregivers and other employees at the Star of David nursing home have finally reached a tentative agreement with management that will raise their pay, preserve health benefits and improve working conditions. This first agreement also puts in place new personnel policies that are backed up by an enforceable grievance procedure.
Press Release April 1, 2003

Unity and determination pays off…
Star of David workers win first contract with significant new rights and improved wages

Boston, MA – After waging a year-and-a-half long battle to win dignity and respect at work, caregivers and other employees at the Star of David nursing home have finally reached a tentative agreement with management that will raise their pay, preserve health benefits and improve working conditions. This first agreement also puts in place new personnel policies that are backed up by an enforceable grievance procedure.

“This is a big step forward,” said Rose Marie Jean, a 15-year CNA and union leader in the home. “Before they could do whatever they wanted, now they have to deal with us fairly.”

Workers at the home formed their union in October of 2001 to gain a voice in staffing, pay and their working conditions. Management aggressively interfered in their decision, forcing the CNAs, dietary workers and housekeepers to vote twice before recognizing their legal right to have a voice at work.

After negotiations finally began in January 2002, workers discovered the same obstinate attitude from management at the bargaining table. It took a one day strike and a second vote threatening another strike to get management to negotiate in good faith and reach an acceptable first agreement.

Star of David is owned by the giant Kindred Healthcare nursing home chain. The nine-month agreement unites about 85 employees at Star of David with SEIU caregivers at five other Kindred homes in Massachusetts.

One of the major issues for union members was management’s insistence on cutting workers hours from 40 to 37 ˝ hours. While workers were unable to reverse the decision, they persuaded management to increase hourly compensation so that employees would not lose pay because of the cut in hours. Pay will increase by 50 cents retroactive to February 6 and everyone will receive three percent increases on their anniversary date. These are believed to be the largest increases in any of the Kindred-owned nursing homes in the Boston area.

The fight for a first contract received strong support from many elected officials; especially City Councilor John Tobin and State Rep. Michael Rush. There was also strong backing from other SEIU Local 285 nursing home union members at Coolidge House in Brookline, the Benjamin Nursing Home in Mission Hill, and the Courtyard Nursing Home in Medford. A community-labor coalition for workers’ rights, Jobs with Justice, helped marshal broad labor and community support for the workers.

A ratification vote will be held on Monday April 7.
See also:
www.seiu285.org
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Welcome to the 21st Century (english)
03 Apr 2003
dymaxanimation.gif
Your socio-political-economic notions of "the working class", "unions", "wages", "health care", "government" and "money" are as obsolete.

They were proven obsolete a long time ago by R. Buckminster Fuller, among numerous other scientists and relatively non-ideological observers.

http://BFI.org

Welcome to the 21st Century. Act locally, act globally - or be eaten by the sharks who do.

http://egroups.com/group/Time-Energy-Accounting

http://egroups.com/group/JPChance/links
See also:
egroups.com/group/JPChance
Congratulations! (english)
03 Apr 2003
Congrats to the workers at Star of David on this contract! Their willingness to hold out so long is inspiring, and a lesson to the rest of us. Solidarity works!
Union Organising is Not Dead (english)
25 Apr 2003
Sometimes I get a little depressed by the modern unions but this is encouraging. I hope they can keep true to the values of the union spirit.