After a strike, demonstrations and months of fruitless negotiations, Johns Hopkins Hospital and the union representing about 2,000 hospital employees have reached a tentative agreement.
The union announced the four-and-a-half-year agreement early Tuesday morning.
Members of the 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East went on a three-day strike in April in a push for better wages. At that time, the union was asking for workers with 15 years or more experience to make a minimum of $15 an hour by 2015 and a $14 an hour wage for workers with a year of experience by 2018. The hospital said that was unaffordable.
The tentative agreement announced Tuesday includes a $15 an hour minimum wage that will go into effect right away for workers with 20 years of service. Workers with 15 years’ experience will make at least $14.50 an hour in 2015.
"This is an important victory for patients and workers all across Baltimore," said John Reid, executive vice president of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East for the Maryland/DC region. "Johns Hopkins Hospital sets the standard for healthcare in our city and that standard has just been raised."
The agreement also includes across the board raises of at least 2 percent every year with a 2 percent raise and a .5 percent bonus in the first year of the contract and a 2.75 percent raise in 2017.
It will also establish a committee to review market rates for surgical techs, pharmacy techs and other workers whose pay the union says is under market.
Union members will vote to ratify the agreement Thursday and Friday.