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708-member St. E';s union soundly rejects contract proposal

Published: Thu, June 24, 2010 @ 12:09 a.m.

Staff report


Members of Teamsters Local 377 at St. Elizabeth Health Center on Belmont Avenue rejected a new contract with Humility of Mary Health Partners, parent company of St. Elizabeth.

The vote, which concluded around 6 p.m. Wednesday, was 2-1 against the proposed pact, said Rob Schuler, chief negotiator for Local 377.

The union’s bargaining committee had recommended the contract be rejected.

The major sticking point between St. E’s and Local 377, which represents 708 service and maintenance employees at the Youngstown hospital, is health benefits, specifically the amount of co-pays at doctor’s offices and deductibles, or the amount of the medical bill paid by employees before insurance kicks in, Schuler said.

Also, the hospital wanted to change overtime work rules from daily overtime to weekly overtime, he added.

He said the union would inform the hospital of the results of the contract vote and indicate a desire to go back to the bargaining table and “work this thing out.”

Local 377’s contract expired May 24, but there was an extension to June 11, after which there has been no contract, Schuler said.

He added he thinks the hospital underestimated the determination and frustration of the employees.

An HMHP representative said Wednesday night the company is disappointed the proposal was not accepted.

“This proposal is the agreed upon contract accepted by the Teamster membership at St. Joseph Health Center earlier this year, and it provides our employees with a market-competitive benefits package,” said Molly Seals, senior vice president of human resources.

HMHP said it has established tiers of health insurance cost-sharing to ensure that higher-paid associates share a larger percentage of health care costs.

The proposal provides a more than 6 percent pay increase over the three years of the contract, the company also said.

“This more than defrays the percentage increase in premium costs,” Seals said.

“If you look at the current proposal as a whole and consider the job reclassification provisions in addition to the first-year across-the-board wage increases, individuals will experience increases from 2 to 8 percent in the first year,” she added.

HMHP said its proposal locks in premium-sharing for the contract term and freezes co-pays and deductibles until 2012, providing additional stability for employees in the economic recession.


1wupper(16 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

I would like to know what Molly Seals and the CEO makes and how much of a raise they got!!!!!!!!! Stay STRONG union fight for what is RIGHT!!!!!!

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2RightofLeft(44 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

There are a lot more than 708 unemployed people in the Mahoning Valley. Why don't we see if they would be happy with the offered contract and go to work for St. Elizabeth's. Local 377 of the Teamsters is one of the greediest unions I have ever seen. They don't "negotiate" - they simply "demand". Teamsters 377 could start St. E's down the same path that Northside followed. Buck-up management, do your job, replace those who are not willing to work for a fair wage and benefit package.

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3timOthy(802 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

RightofLeft,Demand is a Company word.Haven't you been watching the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico? Replace the workers! Are you nuts? It's the best hospital around Y-Town. Hang in there Brothers and Sisters you have my support. Can you hear me beeping!?? And lets see what management makes! Big them little you.

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4NoBS(2819 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

RightofLeft's job (assuming he actually works) is now open - anyone want to do it for less than he makes? I'll bet there'd be a lot of takers for that, too.

And another point - maybe RightofLeft wouldn't mind having unskilled neophytes taking care of him when he's incapacitated, but I'd prefer to have people who have some experience looking after my needs.

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5JME(802 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Should the hospital absorb the entire cost of health care increases? The result would be another company losing money, then you risk losing all of the jobs. Just look at the other local hospital/health care organization.
What did GM just go through?
What positions require more skills, upper management or a janitor? Go get an education if you want to make more money. Oh that's right, it would require too much work and tuition dollars, and it couldn't be obtained overnight. There's a strong demand for nurse's, go to school and you could write your own ticket.
RightofLeft is correct, there are alot of unemployed people trained in these positions who would love to have these jobs - supply is much greater than demand for these type of positions in this area.

Stay strong union brothers/sisters, you could duplicate what the manufacturing unions did for The Valley!

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6gfrc2(5 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Fact: The Union offered to take all it's members and put them under their healthcare plan, which is a better plan overall, saving it's members from the overbearing out of pocket costs that they being held hostage. Fact: This would have also saved St E's over 8 Million dollars over three years.

Fact: Wages are not the issue.

Fact: Comparing St Joe's to St E's as equal is like comparing a country club and a biker bar on a Friday night and saying they are equal. Insanity at it's finest example.


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7JME(802 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Fact: reading the above comments, wages are bothering someone. People whining about management salary.

Question: What compensation does the union want from St. E's to move the members healthcare to the unions healthcare plan? Surely the union wouldn't do it for free. If this is a sticking point, apparently it's a good sized amount.

Fact: Northside is barely holding on. St. E's is not immune to losing money, especially with the continuing rise in cost for health care benefits. It's not the only industry that is affected - look around.

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8gfrc2(5 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Fact: The union did not ask for any compensation to move the members to their Healthcare plan. The unions offer was a good faith offer to save both parties money. Like I said, we are being held hostage.

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9JME(802 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

"saving it's members from the overbearing out of pocket costs that they being held hostage"

This just pushes the increases in healthcare costs to the employer, proving my point that unions expects employers to pick up all healthcare cost increases, which is outrageous.

Smaller copay = higher premiums. Someone has to pay for it.

Do you really think any employer can continue to absorb all of these expenses and remain viable?

It would be nice that we all could have cheap healthcare, but that's not the reality.

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10JME(802 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Why on earth would any employer refuse an opportunity to not have to pay for it's employees healthcare?

What your saying is not even believable.

What is it that your leaving out?

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11gfrc2(5 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

JME, Let me be clear, the unions proposal to take it's members under the union healthcare plan would have saved both parties lot's of money.

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12JME(802 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

How so? Why would the hospital want to maintain employee healthcare benefits if they did not have to, and save money on top of that.
Apparently, the hospital believes it would cost more.
There are always pros and cons. What are the cons?

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13JME(802 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

"saved both parties lot's of money"

It's never that easy. If it was, there would be a contract agreement.

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14CHOPPER(4 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago


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15gfrc2(5 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

JME, Their claim was the were afraid that the members would not use their facilities. Which is nuts because we would prefer to be treated by those we know.

But it would pose a problem with the non-union members, especially the nurses (who hate the healthcare plan as well). With that said, we are not bargaining for the non-union members. It will be a moot point in 2014 when they will be required by law to offer free choice vouchers and everyone can pick their own plan.

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16HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Someone above isn't telling the truth and I think it is the union supporters above.

Are we to believe that the unions health care plan is better and cost less than an organization that is self insured and provides most of the health care for its members? Very hard to believe unless the union cooks their numbers.

The unions will destroy St E's just like they've done to all other employers. Maybe the union thinks that St E's eventually becoming the only health care provider in the Mahoning Valley gives them more bargaining power?

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17JME(802 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

"If it sounds too good to be true,...."

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18AKAFR1(322 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

If you want to dictate how a company is run, buy it.

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19cambridge(4132 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

USEless1.....How many times did you say "Unions must be busted to save America" when you spent those decades as a union member enjoying the benefits earned by the generations that sacrificed before you?

What a hypocrite you are.

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20NoBS(2819 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

To Hayden Thomas - yes, if you weren't so prejudiced against unions, you'd know that unions can and do find health care that management won't use. Why? Because management gets to pass the higher costs along to the rank and file, so they don't care HOW much it costs. I know of instances where unions came up with proposals to save management money, but management refused.

To JME and LeftofRight, and the other zealots - I'd love to know where you all work - I'll find people to come in there and offer to do the same job for half the wages - let's see what you think about your keyboard tough guy attitude then.

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21cambridge(4132 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

USEless1.....You in no way were obliged to seek employment with a company that requires union membership for the job YOU applied for.

You knew GM chose to use union labor for certain positions in their company and that is the exact position you applied for.

No one obliged you to do anything. It's always someone else's fault with you. You should try taking some responsibility for your own miserable life instead of always blaming it on others.

Although I have to admit that for some reason all the misery you constantly cry about makes me smile. :-)

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22cambridge(4132 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

USEless1....LOL! You now claim your not miserable but the list of you complaints is endless.

All you do is complain and show your hate for: Universal Health Care-Unions-Democrats-Obama-Nancy Pelosi-Barney Fwank-Harry Reid-dead Kennedy's-socialist-communist-useful idiots-mafia-immigrants-spell check-gays-social security-medicare-teleprompters-any news other than Fix Noise-minorities-the cookie table-evolution-progress-seat belts-headlights-science-perogies-spaghetti-ethnic people-your heritage-the valley you chose to live in-the union you chose to be a member of-any decent paying job in or coming to the valley.

That's just a dent in the list that effects your daily life. It's about all I could come up with off the top of my head.

Anyone who has that big of a freak show going on in their head is not being honest with themselves about what a loser they are.

Your always good for a laugh but you really should look into getting some help for your mental health issues.

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23JME(802 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

NoBS, if the union provided a great opportunity that would allow St. E's to save allot of money, they would have no problem accepting that proposal.
No person with half a brain would believe that management would turn it down just to spite the union.
Drop the conspiracy theories.
Who pays for the premiums, no one?
Where is this fairyland health care insurance company, sounds magical.

Explain some of these instances you speak of.
If unions were that helpful, they wouldn't be viewed as a negative, inefficient drain on companies.
Let me know how many Engineers with MBA's you can round up in this area, I'll invite you in.
At least provide something intelligent to the discussion.

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24UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

St. E's has plenty of money - strike!!!!

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25justonevoice(94 comments)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

"St. E's has plenty of money - strike" -
um...yeah...Forum Health sound familiar? Do you have any IDEA how much St. E's writes off each year for the uninsured? Do you think you can go to Forum and say "I have no insurance but that's okay, right?"
Give it a try

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26margaritaville(1 comment)posted 6 years, 1 month ago

Understand that whatever the union members receive in health care benefits non-union workers will also receive the same benefits. It's depressing to go to work for a hospital and you can't afford the health care you provide to the patients. I was always proud to have my own health care and not have to depend on someone else for it, but now it's getting too expensive. It takes away some of your self worth. We are trying to survive just like everyone else.

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