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Montefiore Medical Center

montefiorelogo.jpg This New York City medical service provider is recognized for its high-quality patient care and history of respecting workers' rights.

In Partnership With: NYSNA, SEIU

Historic union partnership enhances patient care 

At a Glance

Montefiore Medical Center was founded in 1884 and is part of the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York. It is the University Hospital for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Bronx, NY



Union Employees
7,900 nurses, nursing assistants, technicians, and maintenance workers

Total Employees

Annual Revenues
$2.4 billion

Over 30 campuses serving New York's Bronx and Westchester counties

Over 5 million ambulatory care visits 

As a member of the League of Voluntary Hospitals and Homes of New York, Montefiore Medical Center houses award-winning cancer and heart treatment centers. The hospital also has a lengthy history of providing superior medical care and services to patients in New York City.

Early on, Montefiore recognized the advantages of collaborating with its employees and their unions and became the first hospital in New York City to voluntarily recognize its workers' unions. Workers at Montefiore are represented by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents all clerical, technical, and service, and maintenance employees. Nurses are represented by the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA).

Communication is the cornerstone of a strategic alliance between Montefiore and SEIU 1199. Alicia Pantoja, a long-time patient care technician at the hospital, values the open door policy between management and the staff. While Alicia acknowledges that they do not always "see eye to eye, they work together to find a common path and do what is best for the hospital."

Elaine Brennan, Senior Vice President of Operations at Montefiore, explains the philosophy guiding the labor-management framework, "The best way to provide the best patient care is by having the best people doing it, and by working together to find ways to support them through collaboration and building partnership." Labor and management work together in a series of committees on issues such as wellness, safety, and conflict resolution. Tangible results have emerged from the alliance at Montefiore including the reduction of employee grievances to near zero since the partnership began.

A notable benefit of the alliance at Montefiore is the opportunity for professional training and career advancement. Montefiore contributes to the SEIU 1199 Training and Upgrade Fund to provide workers with tuition reimbursement, vouchers, college preparation, tutoring, and counseling. These programs provide workers with a significant opportunity to improve their skills, increase their income, and advance their career to become pharmacy technicians, patient care representatives, and nurse assistants. This commitment to workers results in a highly-skilled and compassionate healthcare staff.

Maria Castenada, Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU 1199, praises Montefiore's steadfast commitment to respecting workers' rights, "Montefiore is a progressive employer and works with the union to create a positive and nurturing work environment." Together the hospital, the workers, and the union share a common vision: providing the best patient care possible.

Selection Criteria

> Free and fair chance to form a union

> Collaborating as equal partners with workers and their unions to craft innovative strategies on compensation, performance, and productivity to meet business goals and address challenges

> Protecting workers' safety and health

> Providing sustainable wages or progressive increases and worker-friendly benefits

> Creating new jobs and implementing employee retention strategies

> Offering training and professional development opportunities