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Hopkins Hospital, Union Negotiating to Achieve New Contract

December11, 2003


The Johns Hopkins Hospital and District 1199E-DC/Service Employees International Union --  AFL/CIO --  currently are in negotiations for a new contract for the 1,700 union members at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.  While the current agreement between the Hospital and the Union was to expire on Monday, December 1, 2003 at 7:00 a.m., Hospital officials have agreed to extend the contract until January 31, 2004, at the Union’s request. The Hospital was officially notified by the Union in August that it sought a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Hopkins officials will negotiate for a fair and realistic contract that reflects both the rising costs of delivering health care, the larger economic environment, our patient care and teaching mission, and the substantial commitments already made to our bargaining unit and other employees. Already, The Johns Hopkins Hospital pays more to all of its employees, including those covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement , than the “living wage” set by Mayor Martin O’Malley for City workers.  Hopkins Hospital also has added a rich benefits package. 

Hopkins has fully honored all the provisions of the current Union contract pertaining to Union organizing activities and in some cases has gone beyond what the law requires. For example, we have designated an on-site office where Union representatives can meet with Union members.  The Union has stated that the Hospital should commit to “strict neutrality” regarding Union organizing activities.  Hopkins is committed to following existing federal procedures for such organizing and believes that the Union also should follow these procedures.
While our goal is to assure a fair contract without a strike, Hopkins has taken steps to ensure that our patients and their families will, in the event of a strike, continue to receive the same high quality medical care that has characterized Hopkins for more than a century.  In the event of a Union work stoppage, Hopkins will be fully prepared to operate all essential services.

As in the past, the Hospital’s team will negotiate in private meetings with Union representatives, but will not provide details about these negotiations to the press or public while they are ongoing.

Facts about District 1199E-DC SEIU at The Johns Hopkins Hospital

  • There are approximately 1,700 employees of the Hospital who are members of the Union, 21 percent of an approximate total of  8,000 Hospital employees.  The Collective Bargaining Agreement mostly covers service and maintenance employees, including environmental service workers, facilities maintenance workers, nutrition workers, nursing assistants, support associates and nursing aides, nursing clerical associates, pharmacy techs, linen workers, distribution transport aides, supply assistants, etc.
  • The Collective Bargaining Agreement does not cover physicians, registered nurses, supervisors, professional staff members, technicians and most other nursing and non-nursing support jobs.
  • Greater Baltimore Medical Center and Sinai Hospital are negotiating new contracts with the Union during this time period as well.
  • The lowest wage paid to any employee covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement at Hopkins is $8.80/hour plus benefits once employees complete their first ninety days.  The Baltimore City “living wage” declared by Mayor O’Malley for City workers is $8.70 per hour. The Federal minimum wage is $5.15 per hour.  Some highly skilled workers covered by the Hopkins Hospital Collective Bargaining Agreement are paid as much as $22.75/hour.
  •  Not only are our workers paid well above the “living wage” set by the City of Baltimore for its workers,  but we have added a rich benefits package to the wages, though not required to do so.  In addition to the base hourly rate, each worker receives an additional 21% of that rate in the form of benefits.
  • Existing benefits to Union members include:
    • Medical / Vision / Prescription Drug
    • Dental Insurance
    • Life Insurance-Basic with Accidental Death and Dismemberment
    • Salary Protection: Short-term disability provides a benefit of 66 2/3% of base salary up to a maximum of $275 per week for 26 weeks.
    • Pension: This employee benefit is fully paid for by the Hospital and is based on salary and years of service.
    • Tuition Assistance:  Tuition Assistance Advancement and Reimbursement programs are provided to cover up to a maximum of 18 credits per academic years. Funds are also allocated annually for the Joint Training Council to provide assistance for programs not covered under the Tuition Assistance Advancement Program.
    • Vacation: Vacation time is provided based on years of service after the first year of employment – 10 days up to a maximum of 27 days after 20 years.
    • Sick Time: In the first two years of employment, employees receive sick leave at a rate of 5/6 of a day for each month of employment. At the beginning of the third year, employees receive ten (10) additional days of sick leave. Regular part-time employees accumulate such sick time on a pro-rated basis.
    • Tax-deferred Annuity: Employees may save money to supplement their retirement income. Employees’ contributions and earnings grow on a tax-deferred basis.
      Training programs for employment advancement:  Hopkins has several programs designed to encourage employees to advance in their careers. These include:

The Johns Hopkins Skills Enhancement Program:  A workplace education training program that provides opportunities for employees to prepare for achieving their educational goals (job certification, GED, preparation for technical or colleges courses), to qualify for promotions and make career advancements (Medical Terminology and Computer Basics).

The Skills-Based Training for Employment Promotion (STEP) Program: Provides upgrade skills training for working parents currently in entry level health care positions that will result in job promotion in five occupational areas of demand  (pharmacy tech, nursing extender, medical coder, dietary manager, and surgical technician). Employees work part-time (24 hours) in their departments, attend class (16 hours), and the Hospital pays their full-time salary and benefits.

  • The last strike at Hopkins was on March 15, 2001 and lasted for 1 day.