The leaders of Jackson Health System and the union that represents about half of its workers announced Wednesday that they have tentatively agreed on a new three-year contract that includes about $27.3 million a year in concessions.
Jackson’s president and CEO, Carlos Migoya, said the deal “is another step in the right direction of transforming Jackson into the health system of the future and moving from a system that is not just surviving but thriving.”
Viviene Dixon-Shim, the president of AFSCME Local 1363, said “that all the hard work perseverance and patience finally paid off, and we have reached an agreement, thus proving that labor and management can work together to make Jackson better.”
”This agreement would immediately end all furloughs, save our special wage and create an historical partnership between AFSCME Local 1363 and the (Public Health) Trust for the sustainment of Jackson’s future and our jobs,” she said.
The Public Health Trust Financial Recovery Board will vote on the contract Thursday. If the union then approves it, the deal would come before the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners for a final sign-off next Tuesday, April 3.
Jackson is made up of six hospitals and includes the Ryder Trauma Center, the focal point for trauma care in Miami-Dade County.
Under the terms of the draft agreement, which would run through Sept. 30, 2014, the union’s employees would keep half of their prior cost-of-living adjustment, but would not receive automatic cost-of-living or merit increases during the three-year period. They would get six fewer personal days per year.
Their guaranteed 40-hour work week, work schedules and rest periods would not be changed, but they would begin paying 3 percent of their salary toward their pension plan for retirement benefits.
“We thank the AFSCME members for their continued sacrifices, and we believe this proposed agreement finds the right balance for affected employees and Jackson,” Migoya said.
The tentative contract follows discord between Migoya and SEIU Local 1991, another influential union representing Jackson employees, after Migoya announced that his organization would lay off 920 staff members and eliminate another 195 vacant positions to reposition the health system for the future.