CSEA members overwhelmingly approve new agreement with Health Research, Inc.

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Representatives from the American Arbitration Association and members of CSEA’s HRI negotiating team, including CSEA HRI Buffalo Division Local President Laura Porter, far left, and CSEA HRI Albany Division Local President Deborah Hanna, seated, third from left, count ratification ballots on April 29.

BUFFALO — After swift negotiations, CSEA members overwhelmingly approved a new agreement with Health Research, Inc. (HRI), a not-for-profit corporation affiliated with the New York State Department of Health and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, a leading cancer research center in Buffalo.

CSEA represents more than 1,000 HRI employees, who perform daily, key functions in keeping important, cutting-edge medical research like cancer and biomedical research, rehabilitation medicine and disease and infection research moving forward.

The new four-year contract (previous contract expired March 31, 2015) includes wage increases and an increase in employer contribution of health insurance premiums in all years of the agreement, addressing the two top issues workers identified as concerns through a pre-negotiations survey.

CSEA members also maintain steps and longevity in the new agreement, which also enhances benefit programs, time off, severance packages, and cost of living adjustments for workers in downstate locations.

“Good things result when labor and management work towards everyone’s best interest,” said CSEA President Danny Donohue.

“This contract brought back a lot of good things for the members of both CSEA locals at HRI and this, all after a very rough time of transition and change,” said Deborah Hanna, president of CSEA’s Health Research, Inc. Local, Albany Division. “We are very pleased. This contract not only has additional benefits gained, but we are also holding on to key benefits that were at risk. We are back to where we want to be. We are back on track.”

“It was good to see this high level of engagement from our members,” said Laura Porter, president of CSEA’s Health Research, Inc. Local at Roswell Park, Buffalo. “There were so many members taking interest and continually involved throughout the process, from voicing opinions throughout negotiations to voting on this contract. To that, we can attribute this success.”

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