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Maimonides Medical Center

Maimonides logo Through exemplary employee and management collaboration, this New York City hospital continually advances its reputation for providing quality patient care.

In Partnership With: CIR, NYSNA, 1199SEIU

Providing excellence in medical care through sustained union and management solutions

For more than a decade, unions and management at Maimonides Medical Center have engaged in joint activities to further strategic goals of clinical excellence; humane, respectful care; and community engagement. This Strategic Alliance is grounded in the belief that fostering respect among employees and supervisors, promoting rank-and-file leadership, and encouraging broad workforce participation in decision making are all essential to the Medical Center’s success.

At a Glance

Maimonides Medical Center is the pre-eminent treatment facility and academic medical center in Brooklyn. In operation for almost 100 years, it has more Five-Star ratings from HealthGrades than any other hospital in New York City.

Headquarters
Brooklyn, NY

Website
www.maimonidesmed.org

Industry
Healthcare

Union Employees
4,550 service, clerical, maintenance, professional and technical personnel; nurses, interns, and residents

Total Employees
6,00

Annual Revenues
N/A

Outlets
One main campus and Maimonides Cancer Center in Brooklyn, NY

Customers
More than 85,000 emergency room visits, 432,000 ambulatory care visits, and 7,200 childbirths per year

Workers and managers meet regularly to design, support, and structure worker participation programs. According to Rhadames Rivera of 1199SEIU, “Workers’ voices are listened to, allowing them to make decisions on how they want work to be done. It has created a new culture in the organization.”

This collaboration has impressive results. Joint hiring of new managers and supervisors is now routine, with more than 70 management positions filled. Formal grievances and arbitrations are less frequent, with formal grievances falling from 103 in 1994 to 38 in 2006. All participants receive training on how to identify and reframe problems to address each party’s interest, craft mutually agreeable solutions, and implement and evaluate joint decisions. 

With this support and training, Departmental Labor Management Committees have become the preferred structure for resolving outstanding employee/employer issues, and they are increasingly used to redesign work. For example, in the radiology department, patient transport turnaround time has been reduced, with ER waiting times for radiology services declining by 40 percent. Food and nutrition staff have redesigned the preparation and delivery of special dietary meals following a department-wide workflow analysis and retraining program.

“When we began this journey of labor-management collaboration,” recalls Pamela S. Brier, President & CEO, “it was in the firm belief that workplace problems are solved best by those who perform the work.  Our instincts were correct, and we’ve gained much more than productivity and patient care improvements.  We’ve learned how to approach problem-solving for the long term, and that is the true value.”

As employees see the impressive results of this partnership, more continue to join the medical center’s unions. In 2006, 68 paramedics and EMTs joined 1199SEIU using majority sign-up.

Today, the Strategic Alliance is deeply embedded in the medical center as an experienced partnership between the three unions and management.  Participatory problem-solving and decision-making are becoming the norm and Maimonides Medical Center is even more strongly positioned to reach its strategic goals as the leading tertiary care center and healthcare employer of choice in Brooklyn.

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

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

> Creating new jobs and implementing employee retention strategies

> Protecting workers' safety and health

> Offering training and professional development opportunities

> Contributing positively to the broader community