(PROVIDENCE, R.I.) – The more than 2,500 Local 251 Teamsters who work at Rhode Island Hospital ratified a new five-year agreement yesterday by a 97.5 percent vote.
“The 2,500 members at Rhode Island Hospital should be proud. It was their solidarity that led to this agreement,” said Matt Taibi, Teamsters Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer. “This contract wasn’t won at the table; it was earned through months of organizing by our members. They stood strong in the face of the company and achieved a contract they deserve.”
The bargaining unit includes nonclinical and clinical support and skilled maintenance workers.
After months of member to member organizing and surveying the needs of the members, the union negotiating committee set out to satisfy key demands of the workers. This contract addresses the important issues of fair wage increases, a $15 minimum wage, Teamster health care benefits, retirement security, quality jobs that support families and job security. Highlights of the contract include:
- Three percent raises in each year of the contract;
- Retirement choice between the Lifespan Core plan or matching contributions to a 401(k) up to six percent;
- Strong improvements to pay differentials (on-call pay; weekend differential; evening differential; and night differential);
- Inclusion into the Teamsters 251 Health Services Plan;
- Extended “No Layoff” protections; and
- A mechanism for creation of more permanent positions.
Located just south of downtown Providence, Rhode Island Hospital’s main campus occupies more than five blocks. Additionally, the Teamsters represent workers at the hospital’s numerous satellite buildings throughout the state of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.
Voting took place throughout the day at the local union’s hall.
“This is the best contract I’ve seen in my 25 years as a Rhode Island Hospital Teamster,” said Paul Santos, Local 251 President and an over 30-year veteran hospital employee. “We should be proud of the entire negotiating team. They stuck through months of hard bargaining, but ultimately it was the strength of the membership that made this victory possible.”