Friday, July 16, 2021

Schuylkill Hospital Nurses Reach Agreement with Lehigh Valley Health Network

On Wednesday, the Office & Professional Employees International Union along with Lehigh Valley Hospital Nurses United, Local 153 announced the ratification of a two year agreement with the Lehigh Valley Hospital, Schuylkill.

According to the OPEIU, the agreement includes:

  • safe staffing language requiring the hospital to take meaningful steps to provide qualified personnel for each nursing unit
  • Hospital and Union to meet regularly to discuss safe staffing and to provide relevant data to ensure quality patient care
  • Registered Nurses will also be provided a process to file "Protest to Assignment" forms notifying the hospital that the assignment is unsafe
  • The Hospital agrees not to discipline the nurses for submitting a "Protest of Assignment".
  • Cost of Living wage increases each year of 2% across the board, annual increment/tier raises, and an appreciation bonus for all union nurses.
  • Improvements to the medical plan
  • Increases tuition reimbursement
  • Increases Other Monetary benefits
  • Strengthens worker protections including providing new guidelines to stop workplace violence and strengthens security at the hospital
"Without the membership's active participation, we would have never reached such a fair agreement", said Brandee Siegfried, RN at the Hospital, and Chief Steward of Lehigh Valley Hospital Nurses United, Local 153.

"We listened to what our members wanted and needed, and fought hard.  We are a stronger union now than ever" said Chrissy Newton, Registered Nursed and member of the union negotiating committee.

Photo by Skook News during a Rally in Frackville earlier this year.