Welcome to LVHH!
The League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York (LVHH
) is an association, formed in 1968, of†109 non-profit medical centers, hospitals, nursing homes and their affiliated facilities in the greater New York metropolitan area. The League acts as the bargaining agent for its members
in labor contracts
and represents them primarily in the negotiations with 1199SEIU, United Healthcare Workers East. (For more information on 1199 SEIU, your can visit their website at www.1199seiu.org
.) With a couple of exceptions, all members of the League are members of, or are eligible for membership in, the Greater New York Hospital Association, Inc. (GNYHA) whose website can be accessed at†www.gnyha.org
for more information.†
League/1199 Negotiations - July 19, 2009
†1199 SEIU AND LEAGUE OF VOLUNTARY HOSPITALS & HOMES REACH LANDMARK COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AGREEMENT
Union and League Work Together To Successfully Resolve Critical Challenges To Pension And Health Benefit Funds
(New York, NY) - The League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York ("League") and 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East ("1199 SEIU") announced today that they had reached an unprecedented tentative agreement to modify the current contract during extraordinary fiscal times. This agreement preserves the current health and pension benefits of 1199 workers and retirees, and provides for modest wage increases during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. At the same time, the Trustees of the 1199 SEIU Health Care Employees Pension Fund ("Pension Fund"), following the mandates of the federal Pension Protection Act, adopted a rehabilitation plan that stabilizes the finances of the Pension Fund.
The discussions, which began in mid-May, were precipitated by the need to address serious problems in the Pension Fund and the National Benefit Fund ("Benefit Fund"). These problems were caused largely by the impact of the national economic downturn on capital markets, which resulted in the loss of more than $3.5 billion or approximately one-third of the Pension Fundís assets.
The often arduous negotiations led to a 43-month agreement (ending on April 30, 2015) that accomplishes two overriding goals: First, it stabilizes the Pension and Benefit Funds and leaves the workersí benefit package intact, which from the outset of the negotiations, was 1199 SEIUís top priority. Second, the overall agreement lives within total cost parameters established by the League institutions.
Key sacrifices were made on both sides in order to achieve this historic agreement. Provisions of the Agreement include:
* A 3% wage increase scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2009 will be redirected to the Pension and Benefit Funds.
* 1% of a 3% wage increase scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2010 will also be redirected to the Funds. The remaining 2% wage increase will be paid on March 1, 2011.
* Other wage-related payments to be made over the life of the Agreement are:
o a 2.5% bonus to be paid on August 1, 2012,
o a 2.5% wage increase to be paid on October 1, 2013, and
o a 2.5% wage increase to be paid on October 1, 2014.
National Pension Fund
* The pension benefits for current employees and retirees remain unchanged. Employer contribution rates will incrementally increase to a maximum of 15.80% over the life of the Agreement. A current union memberís pension is determined by averaging the memberís highest five consecutive yearsí salary over the ten years before retirement and multiplying that average by 1.85%. While under the current Agreement the multiplier was scheduled to increase to 1.875% on February 1, 2011, the multiplier will remain at 1.85% under the modified Agreement. New hiresí pensions will be calculated based on an average of their final ten years of employment multiplied by 1.6%.
* If the Pension Fund outperforms current projections due to improvements in the economy or if the federal Pension Protection Act is amended in ways that change funding requirements and yield savings that allow the Pension Fund Trustees to reduce the employersí contributions, the reduction will be split equally between the League and 1199 SEIU and will be used to reduce employer contributions to the Pension Fund and restore wage increases or increase bonuses.
* Two 3% cost-of-living adjustments for retirees scheduled to take effect on December 1, 2009 and December 1, 2010, respectively, are eliminated to maintain retireesí current pension and health benefit package.
* New bargaining units entering the Pension Plan will no longer receive pension credit for past service upon entering the Plan.
National Benefit Fund
* The healthcare benefits of active employees and retirees remain unchanged and will be fully funded throughout the life of the Agreement keeping the current benefit package intact.
* The League and 1199 SEIU will jointly develop a new cost containment program for the Benefit Fund, which over the life of the Agreement will produce savings with a present value of $150 million.
* To protect against dramatic changes in economic conditions, the Agreement gives both sides the right to re-open the Agreement on all issues other than the Pension Fund in September, 2013.
Training, Education, Child Care, and Labor/Management Initiatives
* In order to recruit and retain workers within the Industry during a climate of deep unemployment, continued funding is provided for training, education, childcare, and labor/management initiatives.
"Never before in the history of this collective bargaining agreement have we faced the kinds of challenges that we have been confronting in this bargaining," said Bruce McIver, League President. "The unexpected downturn of the economy, which resulted in tremendous losses in the Pension Fund, coupled with the ongoing financial pressures facing our hospitals and nursing homes, created an unprecedented situation for the League and 1199 SEIU. I believe, however, that the Agreement weíve reached is a fair and responsible one. It puts the Funds back on solid footing, and provides a wage structure that enables our institutions to recruit and retain the nurse, technical, clerical and other kinds of workers that are so critical to our institutions and the patients we serve. Both the League and 1199 SEIU had to make numerous difficult choices and sacrifices, but we were able to conclude these talks successfully through creativity and a strong mutual commitment to problem-solving. The accomplishments in these negotiations could well stand as a model for other groups that are faced with similar challenges."
George Gresham, President of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East said, "The unionís primary goal in these negotiations was to save our benefits and we successfully accomplished that. Our members were incredibly clear from the start that saving their pension and health benefits needed to be our number one priority in these contract talks. We are extremely proud to have been able to protect our membersí defined pension benefits and comprehensive health benefits with no out-of-pocket costs or co-payments, while also securing wage increases. There is no question that these dire economic times made these negotiations the most difficult in our unionís history. Our unique labor management partnership, coupled with sheer determination and perseverance, allowed us to reach this historic agreement."
The Memorandum has been ratified by both the League and Union membership.