Hershey Medical Center, Teamsters reach contract agreement

Ratification vote expected Tuesday, July 22 between Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Teamsters Local 776

Hershey, Pa. -- The Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center today (July 17) reached a tentative contract agreement with Teamsters Local 776, the union that represents the medical center's technical services workers.

"Throughout these difficult negotiations, we kept our focus on securing a contract that would treat our non-union and Teamster-represented employees in an equitable manner. With this fair and reasonable agreement we succeed in recognizing the efforts and responsibilities of our dedicated technical services workers and we remain true to our goal of creating a level-playing field for all of our valued employees," said David S. Hefner, medical center executive director and chief operating officer.

Teamsters Local 776 represents a cross section of medical center workers, including employees in food services, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance, facilities and patient care assistance. Teamster-represented employees have been working without a contract since midnight on Monday, June 30 when the previous contract expired. Terms and conditions of the prior contract were extended while efforts to reach a tentative agreement continued.

"This has been a difficult time for all employees and I want thank each of them, our technical services workers included, for their continued commitment to our patients and their families throughout these challenging negotiations," said Darrell G. Kirch, M.D., senior vice president for health affairs, dean of Penn State College of Medicine and chief executive officer of the medical center. "Most importantly, this contract achieves a goal of fairness for all employees, in all roles, that is vitally important to our success as an organization."

The contract must still be ratified by union membership. A contract vote is expected to occur on Tuesday, July 22. A ratification vote by the union membership would avert a possible strike, which union leadership had indicated could begin on Friday, July 25 at 12:01 a.m.

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Last Updated March 19, 2009