Nearly 2,000 Cape healthcare workers will soon see an increase in pay, the outcome of negotiations between their union and their employer, Cape Cod Healthcare. According to a release from 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, 1,900 healthcare workers including clinical social workers, clinicians, professional and technical employees, clerical employees, service employees and maintenance workers will not only receive raises, but other benefits.
Workers at Falmouth Hospital, Cape Cod Hospital, Cape Cod Laboratory Services and Cape Cod Human Services ratified five contracts this month. "Under these new agreements, many healthcare workers will now be on a path to a living wage, ensuring that they can focus on providing great care, rather than making ends meet," said Deona Brennan, a sonographer at Falmouth Hospital.
The contracts will provide a 2 percent raise each year for the three-year agreement. Some workers at Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital will likely see greater increases. Low-wage workers will get a "much needed" pathway to $15 per hour, the release said.
Many workers are also receiving better benefits. Some will see a dip in the cost of healthcare. Crucial training and education benefits will be maintained. At Falmouth Hospital, additional payments will be made to employees with degrees related to their jobs--a practice that is already followed at Cape Cod Hospital. Clinicians with Cape Cod Human Services will also receive a first-time benefit--earned time-off. Fee-for-service clinicians will now be able to accumulate time off and be able to take time off without the fear of lost wages.
The union members voted to ratify the agreements this month. "Workers strongly support these agreements, which demonstrate that Cape Cod Healthcare is recognizing that a living wage and quality benefits are integral components to building strong hospitals and providing great patient care," Jerry Fishbein, Vice President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.