The Service Employees International Union signed an agreement that allows the union to seek to organize about 500 workers at Partners HealthCare’s hospital in Northampton.
The deal with Partners applies to service and technical workers at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. It follows a similar accord at the Partners-owned Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital earlier this year, which led to 500 Faulkner employees joining the union.
“We have developed an agreement with Cooley Dickinson Hospital that outlines a free and fair election process and offers service and technical workers in specific units of the hospital’s workforce the opportunity to vote for or against joining our union,” Tyrék D. Lee Sr., executive vice president of the SEIU’s Local 1199, said in a statement.
Cooley Dickinson officials said they respect the right of employees to vote for or against joining the union. “However, we do not believe that having a union is in the best interests of the employees, patients or the community and do not believe that employees need a union to represent them with respect to their terms and conditions of employment,” the hospital said in a statement.
The union counts about 56,000 Massachusetts health care workers as members. The SEIU and Partners, which have historically been at odds, forged an “alliance” in 2016, paving the way for the union to try to organize more Partners workers.
Partners is the state’s largest health system and the parent of hospitals including Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s.Priyanka Dayal McCluskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @priyanka_dayal.