Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

January 8, 2014

Union, KDMC agree to 3-year deal

Staff report
The Independent

ASHLAND — The more than 400 service and maintenance workers represented by  Service Employees International Union District 1199 at King’s Daughters Medical Center on Wednesday reached a new three-year collective bargaining agreement.

“We value all our team members, and are very happy to have reached a fair contract during negotiations,” said KDMC CEO/President Kristie Whitlatch. “I know it will take all of us pulling in the same direction to accomplish the many challenges we face. I also know together we can do it and am so excited about the future.”

Union workers will receive a 2 percent increase in February following a contract that did not contain pay increases for the last three years. For the next three years, the Pay for Performance program will include a minimum 1⁄2 percent adjustment if KDMC grants a merit increase in those years.  

Union members will have the same health coverage options in the group benefit plan as the rest of the medical center. Increases to 2015 and 2016 health-plan premiums will be based on the plans’ future costs with agreed-upon limits.

“We are hopeful that with a new contract and new leadership at KDMC, that we can build a stronger relationship between hospital executives and union members,” said Sherri McKinney, union coordinator.

“We are grateful for the overwhelming support shown by elected officials, clergy and members of our community that helped us reach an agreement that preserves quality care and services for hospital patients.”