1199 SEIU and the Institute for Family Health Announce Contract Agreement

New York, NY (November 16, 2010)  – The Institute for Family Health (IFH) and 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East today announced a contract agreement with mutually beneficial terms for IFH’s newest facility in Harlem.

Both IFH and 1199 are pleased that they can now focus on ensuring the delivery of quality healthcare to a community that suffered a great loss with the closure of North General Hospital this past July. 

The agreement includes:

  • IFH will recognize 1199 as the representative of all its service, maintenance, technical, clerical and nursing positions at its North General Clinic location and it will fill these positions from among the pool of former NGH clinic workers.  Effective December 1, 2010, the former NGH Clinic workers will begin training, under a program jointly developed by IFH and the 1199 Training and Upgrading Fund, and will then be reintegrated into the IFH clinic positions over the ensuing two months.
  • The former NGH Clinic workers will be hired by IFH at their former salaries and will continue to participate in 1199’s Health Benefit, Pension, Childcare, Job Security, and Training and Upgrading Funds.
  • In recognition of the unique cost structure of a Federally Qualified Healthcare Clinic (FQHC), 1199 and IFH have agreed to collaborate in facilitating a meeting with other FQHC employers to discuss industry-wide standards for the future – including wage rates and benefits for future hires.  The collaboration will seek to develop a labor model that reflects the needs of the Union, the employees and the FQHC’s model of healthcare delivery. 
  • 1199 has agreed to support the purchase of the North General Annex, for which the State has pledged funding for the building of a new, state-of-the-art facility with expanded services and an opportunity to bring more jobs to the community. 
  • 1199 SEIU will withdraw the complaint issued by the National Labor Relations Board as well as the underlying unfair labor practice charge. 

“We are extremely relieved that this has been resolved and that we’ll be able to return to work caring for the Harlem community we’ve served for 30 years,” said Amin Shareef, former NGH clinic employee for 37 years.  “This agreement with IFH means we now have the peace of mind that we’ll be able to continue providing for our families.”

“As our country continues its move to expand access to healthcare for all people, it is critical that our nation’s health centers have a highly skilled and motivated workforce to support that effort,” said Dr. Neil Calman, CEO of the Institute for Family Health.  “The agreement we enter into today begins a collaboration to prepare workers who have lost their jobs and their livelihood due to the shrinkage of the hospital system in New York City for the growing jobs available in the health centers being expanded by President Obama’s initiative to double the number of patients who receive primary and preventive services there.  We are grateful to the leadership and employees of 1199 SEIU for working with us to develop an economic model for our Harlem center that will not only support it for years into the future but allow for the continued growth of new services and new jobs as we move forward.”

“We are very pleased to have reached a contract agreement with IFH to hire former NGH employees at their former salaries and with their prior healthcare and pension benefits,” said George Gresham, President of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.  “This has been an extremely difficult time for our workers and their families — we commend their strength, courage and perseverance.  We also thank Dr. Neil Calman for moving this situation forward to resolution.  We are confident that working together with IFH, we will continue providing quality healthcare to Harlem residents and will advance the model of primary care in the community by using the latest in electronic medical record technology.”