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Mission Neighborhood Health Center workers win strong raises, additional holiday

NewsAugust 30, 2022

Amid a severe staffing shortage, NUHW members at San Francisco’s Mission Neighborhood Health Center have ratified a three-year contract with a 12 percent salary increase, an additional floating holiday, and higher uniform reimbursements.

“I think it was good timing for bargaining a new contract. We showed the employer they had to raise our pay and improve our benefits to attract more people,” said medical assistant Millie Cuevas, a shop steward at the Excelsior Clinic who participated in negotiations.

Low pay has impacted staff retention. Indeed, three employees will leave the Excelsior Clinic soon. “They say they want to better their careers, but more than anything it’s a decision based on salary,” said Cuevas, who has worked at MNHC for 21 years.

The medical assistant said this round of negotiations were “much smoother” than in the past, with MNHC bargaining in earnest to quickly reach a fair agreement. “We got a good salary hike, which had been difficult to get in previous years,” Cuevas added.

The contract also nearly doubles the allowance for uniforms, which is sorely needed. “We improved a lot,” said Mille. “We’re happy with what we were able to get.”