Stat Facts: First Contract at Teal Lake Offers Bright Beginnings; Thank You for an Amazing Nurses Week!

First Contract at Teal Lake Offers Bright Beginnings

Direct Care aides, housekeepers and dietary staff members at the Teal Lake Senior Living Community in Negaunee, Mich., ratified a first contract on April 27 after successfully voting to join the USW last year.

“The campaign was a long and stressful process because we had so many hills to climb,” said Peggy Kangas, the local’s unit chairperson. “During bargaining there was fear of the unknown, but it went smoothly with mutual respect all around.”

The 29 new members joined amalgamated Local 4950, which also represents USW members at the Empire Mine, Eastwood Nursing Center, Bell Medical Center, Ishpeming Medical Center, Negaunee Public Schools and Malton Electric.

The Teal Lake employees approached Local 4950 for assistance in organizing. The National Labor Relations Board ordered a rerun of a failed first election that was tainted by management unfair labor practices. A second election held last May secured a union victory.

The contract is one that Kangas is proud of and knows what a difference it will make for the lives of her co-workers, as well as herself.

“This contract is going to give all employees a voice,” she said. “It also gives us a sense of security knowing that the union is now there to help us get the fair treatment we’ve wanted for so long. It’s like having a fresh start with the sun shining down on us!” 

Staff representative Chris Haddock assisted in the organizing drive and the bargaining for a first contract. The two-year agreement includes pay raises totaling $1.35 an hour over two years, time and a half, holiday pay, and a personal time off program, he said.

Thank You for an Amazing Nurses Week!

As National Nurses Week comes to an end (just in time for Florence Nightingale’s birthday), we’d like to thank everyone for participating! We loved having the opportunity to celebrate the thousands of nursing professionals we represent across the United States and Canada and uplift their voices. Sharing all of your photos and your stories was an honor.

The union also used this celebratory week to launch our nationwide push for the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. Please speak with your local officers or Rapid Response coordinator about signing postcards that will be sent to your Congressional representatives urging them to sign onto this vital bill.

We salute you for all of your hard work. We vow to continue fighting for you to have a voice in the workplace.

To view all of the photos you’ve sent us this week, click here!

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Jess Kamm at 412-562-2446

USW@WORK (USW magazine)
Editor R.J. Hufnagel

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