An overwhelming majority of workers at Pottstown Hospital voted to approve a new three-year union contract on Monday after reaching an agreement with owner Tower Health last week. The new contract includes across-the-board wage increases for the duration of the contract, seniority protections, and caps on health insurance costs for employees.
“This contract was months in the making,” said Kim Shaner, a nurse and union chapter president at Pottstown Hospital. “But it’s worth it to be able to say that we stood together as a team and worked with Tower Health to make an agreement that moves Pottstown Hospital and our community forward.”
Union workers at the hospital say improvements in the new contract will be key to recruiting and retaining an experienced, skilled staff to care for residents of the Pottstown area.
In addition to gaining improvements in wages, union members were able to negotiate an agreement that includes better access to healthcare and a provision to keep employee spouses on the Tower Health plan – a sticking point for workers concerned about healthcare choices being limited for some families.
“Earlier proposals from Tower would have forced some employee spouses off of the Tower health plan and onto inferior plans,” said Linda Heater, a unit secretary at Pottstown Hospital. “That proposal would have been unfair to some of our coworkers’ families and I’m glad we were able to find a solution.”
More than 250 certified nursing assistants, transporters, unit secretaries, service workers, technicians, CNAs and more at Pottstown Hospital are members of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania.
SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania is the state’s largest and fastest-growing union of nurses and health care workers, uniting nearly 45,000 nurses, professional and technical employees, direct care workers, and service employees in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home- and community-based services, and State facilities across the Commonwealth. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members are committed to improving the lives of health care workers` and ensuring quality care. and healthy communities for all Pennsylvanians.