Allegheny Valley Hospital nurses ratify new contract

September 25, 2018

Nurses and service employees at Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison ratified a new three-year contract with the hospital Wednesday.

According to a statement from the Service Employees International Union, the hospital’s parent company, the agreement focuses on the recruitment and retention of new staff by making significant improvements in pay, as well as increased staffing across the hospital.

About 600 nurses aides, dietary, housekeeping and other service workers are covered along with nurses in the new contract.

The news release late Thursday said the both the union and hospital recognizes “the important contribution of all hospital workers and creating strong family-sustaining jobs in our communities.”

According to the release, the average wage for service workers will rise from $14.20 to $19.28 over the three-year contract.

For registered nurses, both sides were “committed to negotiating pay that will attract and retain the best nurses to serve our patients,” resulting in raises of almost 12 percent over the life of the contract, according to the release.

Included in this were “additional steps in the pay scale to reward and retain experienced and dedicated hospital employees who play a critical role in operations, and also to help the hospital stay competitive in recruiting more dedicated staff to serve our community,” the statement said.

“We’re very excited about this new contract because it will help us recruit the new staff that we urgently need, but it also helps us hold on to our most experienced staff,” said Jane Davis, a 23-year employee in the hospital’s lab. “Some of us have dedicated decades of our lives to this hospital and, in many ways, we’re the backbone of the hospital. We need to keep that experience right here at Allegheny Valley.”

The new contract also reflects investments by management to provide additional staffing in each unit of the hospital “so nurses and aides will have fewer patients, and to ensure that as health care demands are changing in our community that AVH can provide the highest quality of care and best patient experience.”

“Every staff member in our hospital -- from nurses to aides -- wants to give their very best to each patient. With these staffing improvements, we’ll be able to spend more time with our patients and deliver the top quality care our community deserves,” said Mary Kuniak, a registered nurse with 14 years of service at the hospital.

The contract expires in 2021. The employees are members of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, which represents 3,500 nurses and service workers across the Allegheny Health Network.

This story has been corrected to reflect the news release was issued by only the Service Employees International Union.

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