Dominican Hospital workers unite to win strong contract

NewsJanuary 29, 2024

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NUHW members at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz ratified a four-year contract this month with 18 percent across-the-board wage increases and a reduction in health insurance premiums.

The agreement covers 100 workers including physical therapists, occupational therapists, exercise physiologists and speech language pathologists as well as registered dietitians and pharmacists.

“I’m proud of the unity we showed,” said Annie Araujo Stepka, a lead occupational therapist at Dominican. “From the start of bargaining, we were committed to winning a contract that would meet everyone’s needs, and we never wavered on that commitment.”

The contract, which was ratified by a near-unanimous vote, includes:

  • A 5 percent raise in 2024, 4 percent raises in 2025 and 2026, and a 5 percent raise in 2026.
  • Expanding a $4 per hour pay increase for weekend work to also apply to clinical pharmacists, clinical exercise physiologists and registered dietitians.
  • Creating a new registered dietitian II classification with additional pay to recognize the experience and education level of more experienced workers.
  • Capping annual increases to employee contributions to their healthcare premiums at 3 percent starting in 2025 as opposed to 6 percent in the prior contract.