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Auburn Memorial Medical Services Staff Deliver Petitions, Reveal Struggle for First Union Contract

Workers say management is stalling negotiations by refusing to agree to basic union rights already recognized at Auburn Community Hospital.

1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East issued the following press release with updates on negotiations for their first union contract:

By voting to join 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East, in October of 2018, healthcare workers at Auburn Memorial Medical Services (AMMS) made clear their desire to have a voice at work and the ability to negotiate a union contract to address issues with unfair wages, high turnover rates, and disrespect in the workplace. Today, more than a year after the election, AMMS management is still refusing to agree to grant the most basic union rights. On Thursday, November 7, AMMS staff, supported by Mayor Quill, members of the Auburn Common Council, Auburn Community Hospital 1199SEIU members, other union organizations, and community allies held a press conference to announce the delivery of a majority-signed petition demanding and union rights and a fair contract. The press conference was also be the first time AMMS employees have gone public with the struggles faced at the bargaining table as they inform the community and ask for their support. “I have been with AMMS since January 2016,” says Amanda Packard, a Medical Assistant in a doctors’ office. “The turnover rate is high here and we are losing good people every day because we are overworked and underpaid. We work hard and we deserve a fair union contract now.” Background: In October of 2018, workers at Auburn Memorial Medical Services, P.C., a multi-specialty medical office group, voted to become a part of 1199SEIU. The P.C. is affiliated with Auburn Community Hospital with whom 1199SEIU has a long-standing positive relationship and a mature Union contract. Bargaining for a first contract began in March 2019. To date, AMMS Management has refused to extend the same rights and protections workers at Auburn Community Hospital enjoy including Union shop, grievance and arbitration processes, seniority, job bidding, and layoff procedures.