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Public Employee Press

Members win $2,400 in retro pay

UNION WINS BACK PAY. From left: Shop Steward José Muñoz, Institutional Aide Cesar Vasquez, Chapter Chair Robin Laracuente, Housekeeping Aide Betty Cabrera and Institutional Aide Carmen Torres of NYC Hospitals Employees Local 420.

Three Local 420 members received a total of $2,400 in retroactive back pay to settle a grievance filed after NYC Health + Hospitals failed to pay the annual salary differential for handling medical waste.

NYC H+H Morrisania Diagnostic and Treatment Center Institutional Aides Carmen Torres and Cesar Vasquez and Housekeeping Aide Betty Cabrera, who works at Segundo Ruiz-Belvis Clinic, were assigned to handle red waste bags. As part of their duties, the Local 420 members collect and dispose of blood, needles and other hazardous medical waste. But management failed to pay the three the $800 annual differential stipulated in the contract for Institutional Services.

The members asked José Muñoz, shop steward at Lincoln Hospital, to look into why the differential was not included in their paychecks.

Muñoz reached out to the union and the Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals Division. Council Rep Joel Viera-Vera talked to the members and Muñoz and filed individual grievances on the members’ behalf.

“When management did not respond to the grievances at Step 1,” Viera-Vera said, “I advanced the members’ complaints to Step 2. Eventually, all parties reached an agreement. NYC H+H compensated the members and paid them the owed differential for 2016.”

On finally receiving payment for her extra work, Housekeeping Aide Betty Cabrera said, “I am happy because the union was there to help us. They did a good job.”

“The union wants members who qualify for differential pay to get it,” Local 420 President Carmen Charles said. “We are here for you.”

“Any member who believes he or she is not being appropriately compensated for their work, should bring the issue to the union’s attention as soon as possible,” Charles said. —DSW