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December 17, 2017
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D.C. Caregivers Ratify First Contract at J.B. Johnson Nursing Home
Posted On: Feb 04, 2013

After nearly three years, caregivers at J.B. Johnson Nursing Center in Northwest Washington, DC have finally secured their first contract. The members of SEIU 1199 United Healthcare Workers East voted overwhelmingly to ratify it on January 23rd. “This has been a long time coming; management said we’d never have a contract,” said David

Hickman (above, in cap), a CNA and a leader in forming the union at J.B. Johnson. “There were times when people were too scared to get involved. But just like the re-election of our President, this first contract shows that money doesn’t always win. This time, the workers won because we stayed in the fight, and the union stood with us.” The contract includes a bonus, improves paid leave and guarantees that it cannot be taken away. It also restricts the employer from making arbitrary decisions in scheduling and advancement, and it protects workers’ health insurance benefits. Caregivers like Hickman, who have struggled over many months at J.B. Johnson to improve working conditions and patient care, are quick to point out that their first contract is a major step to building the power needed to win those improvements. “Now we have an enforceable contract,” continues Hickman. “We have a grievance process and some protection against favoritism and arbitrary decisions by management. In other words, we’ve got a great start.”


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