A tentative agreement has been reached in contract talks at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Under the terms of the tentative agreement, UIHC’s 3,800 nurses and healthcare professionals, who are members of SEIU Local 199, would receive 2.1 percent across-the-board raises in both years of the two-year contract.
A ratification vote on the contract is scheduled for Thursday, March 7. If the contract is approved, it will take effect July 1, 2019 and conclude June 30, 2021. Following are statements from two members of the SEIU bargaining team.
“This tentative agreement includes equal raises for every caregiver,” said Melinda Myers, RN, BSN, a staff nurse in the UIHC Surgical Intensive Care Unit. “But the administration refused to offer the resources our patients really need. Given the way the public stood behind us in this campaign, we’re going to keep fighting for them going forward.”
“The support we received from the people and the patients of Iowa was incredible,” said Coen Olson, a medical lab scientist. “But the state’s unfair laws and the administration blocked us from winning a truly fair contract. That’s why this contract is only the first step in our fight to fix what’s wrong at UIHC.”
SEIU Local 199 represents 5,000 healthcare and public service workers across Iowa. It is an affiliate of the 2-million-member Service Employees International Union. SEIU’s Healthcare Division includes 1 million nurses, lab techs, environmental service workers and other vital staff who serve 60 million patients and clients.