Howard Brown Health Union Ratifies Historic Three-Year Contract

Union employees at Howard Brown Health ratified a three-year contract after 17 months of negotiations and two strikes, securing a 7% average pay raise and layoff protections. The landmark agreement sets a precedent for fair compensation and job security in the healthcare industry.

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Nimrah Khatoon
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Howard Brown Health Union Ratifies Historic Three-Year Contract

Howard Brown Health Union Ratifies Historic Three-Year Contract

Union employees at Howard Brown Health have successfully ratified their first three-year contract after 17 months of intense negotiations and two strikes. The landmark agreement, which becomes amendable in 2027, includes several key provisions that will benefit over 1,000 union employees, including nurses, medical assistants, and other healthcare professionals.

Why this matters: This contract sets a precedent for fair compensation and job security in thehealthcare industry, which has been plagued by burnout and high turnover rates. As healthcare workers continue to play a vital role in maintaining public health, securing their rights and well-being is crucial for the overall quality of care.

The contract secures a 7% average pay raise for union employees, providing a much-needed boost to their salaries. It also sets a minimum wage of $19.23, ensuring that all union employees earn a living wage. Additionally, the agreement includes crucial layoff protections, providing job security for employees and preventing arbitrary terminations.

Other notable provisions in the contract include yearly wage increases that outpace inflation, transparency of pay for all staff members, comprehensive insurance for part-time workers, a reworked disciplinary system, and expanded job protections. These hard-fought gains are a demonstration of the determination and solidarity of the union employees.

Alice Johnson, Executive Director of the Illinois Nurses Association (INA), which represents the union employees, expressed her enthusiasm for the ratification of the contract. "We are thrilled that our union members have ratified this historic contract,"said Johnson. "This agreement is a demonstration of the power of collective bargaining and the determination of our members to fight for what they deserve."

Robin Gay, DMD, Interim President and CEO of Howard Brown Health, also shared his enthusiasm about reaching this milestone. "I am thrilled we have reached this moment for Howard Brown,"said Gay. "In our 50-year history, this is a significant milestone where our colleagues' voices are heard and respected."

Howard Brown Health is a Chicago-based healthcare organization rooted in LGBTQ liberation, providing affirming healthcare and mobilizing for social justice. The organization envisions a future where healthcare and transformative social policies actualize human rights and equity for all. It offers primary care, behavioral health, and social services at 10 clinics across the city, regardless of ability to pay.

The ratification of this groundbreaking contract marks a significant victory for labor rights and healthcare equity. It demonstrates the power of collective action in securing fair compensation, improved working conditions, and job security for vital healthcare workers. As Howard Brown Health continues its vital mission of serving the LGBTQ+ community, this agreement ensures that its dedicated employees can do so with the support and recognition they deserve.

Key Takeaways

  • Howard Brown Health union employees ratify 1st 3-year contract after 17 months of negotiations.
  • Contract includes 7% average pay raise, $19.23 minimum wage, and layoff protections.
  • Agreement sets precedent for fair compensation and job security in healthcare industry.
  • Contract also includes yearly wage increases, transparency of pay, and comprehensive insurance.
  • Ratification marks a significant victory for labor rights and healthcare equity.