State College, Pa. After months of negotiations that nearly culminated in a strike, around 900 workers at Mt. Nittany Medical Center have achieved a strong new contract. The new agreement was ratified on Thursday night by a majority of over 90%
The group, which includes nurses, dietary, environmental service workers and others, has been focused on maintaining high job standards for the community.
“Our community needs good jobs, and MNMC plays a key role in that,” said Scott Liliedahl, who works in Maintenance at the hospital.
As the people on the frontlines of care, workers also know that better jobs benefit patients.
“Retaining staff plays a huge part in patient care,” continued Cynthia Calvin-Vandergas, RN. “Recruiting and keeping qualified, experienced healthcare workers right here is the best way to ensure a consistent level of quality care in our hospital.”
Key highlights of the new 3-year contract include:
- Wage increase of 3% for each year of the 3-year contract;
- Maintaining quality, affordable healthcare coverage for workers and their families;
- A voice in staffing to ensure consistent staff levels to care for patients;
- Maintained secure retirement, a key benefit of quality jobs;
- Improved education benefits so workers can enhance skills and further their career.
“The education benefit is so important,” said Carralee Franzwa, Certified Surgical Technologist. “We all want to make sure healthcare workers have the opportunity to continue learning in this changing industry. And it helps keep more and more skilled workers right here in State College.”