January 30, 2001
MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Stephenson
PHONE: (410) 955-5384
Regrettably, Local 1199E of the Service Employees International Union has notified The Johns Hopkins Hospital that its members will stage at 25-hour strike beginning at 6 a.m. January 31, and ending at 7 a.m., February 1.
While Hopkins remains committed to resolving management/labor issues that affect SEIUís 1600 Hopkins Hospital members, almost all of whom are service and maintenance employees, the Hospital is fully prepared to operate all essential services during the walkout. We also want to reassure patients and visitors that patient care will not in any way be compromised. Our doctors and nurses and many other health care professionals are not involved in the strike.
In order to accommodate press interest while assuring minimum disruption to our patients and visitors during the strike, Public Affairs staff will operate a Press Center in the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, Room 2134, beginning at 5 a.m. January 31. All requests for information, official statements and updates will be handled by press office staff at that site. Print and broadcast press representatives will be provided work space in the Press Center.
Broadcast vehicles may park in the Hopkins shuttle stop area located on the West Side of Wolfe Street, north of the Hospitalís Wolfe Street entrance circle, or on the Southbound side of Broadway near the Dome. Press parking can be arranged in advance by calling Beth Simpkins at 410-955-4288. Please be advised that Hospital policies governing access by press video or still cameras will not change.
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Effective January 16, 2001 at 7:00 a.m., the current contract extension between The Johns Hopkins Hospital and District 1199E, SEIU, AFL-CIO expired. To date, progress in these negotiations has been hampered by the Unionís lack of availability for more frequent sessions and its cancellation of previously scheduled meetings. Regrettably, Local 1199E of the Service Employees International Union has notified The Johns Hopkins Hospital that its members will stage a 25-hour strike beginning at 6 a.m. January 31, and ending at 7 a.m. February 1.
It appears that the Union is more willing to devote its energy and resources to organizing a strike rather than on a good faith effort to reach an agreement. We can only suspect that this course of action is driven by a desire to serve broader union interests than the interests of Union members at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
The Hospital will maintain normal business operations and will continue to make its bargaining team available to negotiate with the Union to reach a settlement. The Hospital is committed to continuing good faith efforts to reach a negotiated settlement which is both fair to our represented employees and to the Hospital.
Our bargaining position is flexible, but we canít negotiate with ourselves. We remain prepared to make reasonable compromises provided the Union proves equally flexible. The Hospital remains committed to resolving these management/labor issues in hopes of avoiding this strike or any other job action by the Union. The Johns Hopkins Hospital and District 1199E-Service Employees International Union have agreed not to comment to the media about the details of ongoing negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. As soon as a tentative agreement has been approved by both parties, appropriate announcements will follow.
There are approximately 1,500 employees of the Hospital who are members of the union out of an approximate total of 7,500 Hospital employees which is slightly more than 20% of the total workforce.
The Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA)covers mostly service and maintenance employees including environmental service workers, facilities maintenance workers, nutrition workers, nursing assistants, support associates and nursing aides, nursing unit clerks, linen workers, distribution transport aides, and supply assistants. The CBA does not cover physicians, registered nurses, supervisors, professional staff members, technical and many other nursing and non-nursing support jobs.
Other Baltimore area hospitals that negotiate with District 1199E during the same time are Sinai and Greater Baltimore Medical Center.
Wages for employees covered by the CBA at Hopkins range from $7.52/hour for the start rate for service workers to $19.66/hour for the most highly skilled maintenance workers. As of July 2000, the average wage rate for all regular employees covered by the CBA is $10.50/hour. Hospital benefits are provided at an additional cost.