Palisades Medical Center laboratory workers have ratified a collective bargaining agreement with Quest Diagnostics that will enhance pay and boost other benefits.
“It’s been a very tough year that has put tremendous pressure on most healthcare workers,” HPAE Local 5030 President Lorna “Mickie” Miquiabas said. “This new contract for laboratory workers processing most of the COVID-19 samples is an important measure of security for our members.”
The contract—which goes into effect when the firm takes over laboratory services at Palisades and other Hackensack Meridian hospitals in January 2021, gives the roughly 50 workers covered pay increases of 2.5% in the first year, 2 % in the second and third year.
HPAE President Debbie White, RN, said laboratory workers—laboratory assistants, medical technologists, pathologists and phlebotomists—are an indispensable part of caring for the public, especially during a viral pandemic where they handle samples containing this deadly disease.
“Our members are sacrificing and risking their health and lives to work on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said. “We must make sure all of our healthcare workers are safe, so we can retain our frontline staff who are essential in fighting COVID-19. This contract is one step toward protection of this crucial segment of our healthcare workforce in the war against this coronavirus.”
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