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New York City's longest health-care strike ends.

The largest and longest health care strike in New York City history ended when members of District 1199 of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union approved 2-year agreements with the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes and the Association of Voluntary Nursing Homes. The 44-day stoppage involved 52,000 employees, 18,000 patients, and 45 private, nonprofit hospitals and nursing homes. Part of the delay in settling resulted from the League's contention that the projected rise in State payments to the institutions was not enough to cover the cost of a settlement that would include 5-percent annual pay increases. New York Governor Mario Cuomo assured the parties that he would "do the right thing" and "make adjustments" later if the institutions were unable to cover the cost of the settlement. This induced labor and management to settle, but negotiators cautioned that the accord could be abrogated by either party if they did not receive "assurances from the State consistent with Governor Cuomo's statement."

The two 5-percent pay increases will be applied to annual salaries ranging from $15,247 for orderlies to $33,962 for social workers. Other types of workers involved include clerks, technicians, and aides. The accord also provides that the workers will have alternate weekends off. Management had offered 26 weekends off per year, although not necessarily every other weekend, and a $20 premium for every weekend worked beyond the 26. Another provision freezes starting pay for new employees, beginning with the second year. The terms were expected to set a pattern for settlements between the union and about 24 other institutions when current agreements expire on October 1.
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Publication:Monthly Labor Review
Date:Nov 1, 1984
Words:272
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