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Bayside health care workers reach labor deal with local hospital after picketing last month

After registered nurses, clerical workers and therapists took to the picket line outside of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children in Bayside last month, the union representing them and the medical center have a struck a deal for better salaries and benefits.

United Healthcare Workers East (SEIU 1199), which is the largest health care workers union in the nation, and hospital management announced on Oct. 19 an agreement that will affect a total of 378 workers. The contract includes an increase in wages as well as a significant increase in benefits, according to a release by both involved parties.

“We greatly value each of our employees who work hard every day to provide the best care for New York’s most critically ill and injured children,” said Eddie Simpser, CEO of St. Mary’s Hospital for Children. “We are proud to have come to an agreement with SEIU 1199 that allows us to offer this generous salary increase and excellent benefits.”

Alex Marisol, a registered nurse at St. Mary’s with 12 years experience, was on the negotiating committee which discussed the wage agreement.

“I’m pleased with this agreement and the decent salary increase, which reflects the importance of the work we do,” Marisol said. “Now we will continue what we do best, caring for New York’s sickest children. I’m looking forward to working with management in the future.”

The new contract was officially ratified on Oct. 19 and has a term of four years.

“It was great to learn that St. Mary’s Hospital for Children reached an agreement with SEIU 1199,” City Councilman Paul Vallone said. “This is a clear victory for every child and family that has been healed, treated, taught or simply changed by the miracles that happen every day at St. Mary’s. The passionate staff and employees who go above and beyond every day are the unsung heroes that are now protected with this new contract.”

St. Mary’s Hospital for Children is a not-for-profit healthcare facility that provides children with special needs and life-limiting conditions with intensive rehabilitation, specialized care and education.

See full story at Queens Courier. Also read at TimesLedger.