Appalachian Regional Healthcare workers see major wins, zero concessions in new three-year agreement

Nearly 2,200 USW members across nine Appalachian Regional Healthcare (ARH) locations in Kentucky and West Virginia this month have ratified a new three-year agreement.

The contract, which the group was able to bargain in a matter of five days as opposed to its usual five weeks, covers a diverse group of workers who serve in 48 job classifications, from nurses and nurses’ aides to clerical, maintenance, and housekeeping employees.

The agreement included zero concessions, and the members were able to notch a major win with the elimination of the company’s eight-year wage progression scale that made it difficult for many workers to get ahead. The contract also includes market adjustments, giving the workers an average of an 8 percent wage increase, with some getting a 25 percent increase over the life of the agreement.

Home health aides will also now receive a 10 percent increase in pay while they’re in a patient’s home, and employees who work overtime more than four hours will receive a free meal voucher to use over the next 15 days.

Other contract gains include an increase in shift differentials, enhanced bidding language for new hires, and years of experience wage increases.

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