Resource webpage for SEIU Healthcare PA

Commonwealth Nurses and Health Professionals in the DMVA, DOH, DOC and DHS


Our Union Strength


Resources for Union Members

  • Mandatory Overtime (Act 102) Complaint Form
    • Complete this form when you’ve been unjustly mandated to work overtime.
    • Once you’ve completed the form, email the Member Resource Center ( and your organizer, Seth (  or Kerri (,  a copy of the email receipt so that we can follow up with the process.
  • Member Resource Center
    • Contact the MRC for questions about our union contract, grievances, or other workplace issues:1-800-252-3894.

Our Union Rights

  • Attacks on Your Rights
    • Billionaire-backed shadow groups are launching campaigns that violate our privacy (some of us have already gotten texts and mail from them) and aim to take away our union rights, strip our union contract, and destroy our ability to negotiate for better wages and benefits. Watch these two videos about who they are and what you can do to fight back — here and here).



July 21

We need to meet this Wednesday!

We did not reach a new contract this week. Our current contract expired June 30th and now AFSCME and SEIU Local 668 have reached agreements that set a pattern for state employees and in order to win our additional core issues we need to take action. 

We ALL need to meet this Wednesday, July 26, and carefully discuss our crucial next steps if we want to win on our core priorities.

Register for one of the Zoom meetings below and show up ready to strategize. 






On Wednesday, we delivered our unity petition and highlighted our core priorities —  wages that will recruit and retain staff and addressing mandatory overtime.  

We did make progress with management proposing 20% in increased wages over the next four years but we still need to nail down wage inequities and compensation for employees who are mandated for overtime when they do not want to volunteer.

We need to be united and stand strong if we’re going to win this fight. 

If you have any questions, reach out to your facility’s bargaining committee member or to Kevin Hefty at or Seth Anderson-Oberman at


July 11

Our contract is expired! Time to unite in the push for a new one!

We’ve now gone past our contract expiration date and while we had some in-depth conversation at the table during bargaining on June 29th, we didn’t accomplish nearly enough.

We’ve been clear about why our issues matter —  not just to us, but to the communities we serve.  Now it’s crucial we come together and turn up the heat. We need to speak with one voice about what we must see in our contract.  

We need:

  • Further protections from MOT!
  • A fair wage scale!
  • Respect for us as caregivers!

If we want these things we’ll have to prove we’re willing to fight for them. The clearest way to do that right now is to add your name to our unity petition. If we can’t show management that we’re united in this fight, we’ve already lost.


We’re going to deliver this petition at bargaining on July 19th so this is your LAST CHANCE to sign and show your support if you haven’t already. 

If you’ve already signed, great. Now call or text your coworkers and make sure they’ve signed too. 


Wednesday, July 19 & Thursday, July 20


AFSCME will be bargaining this week and there’s a very good chance that we’ll be able to play off of agreements they make in their session to make some serious headway on our own issues. But it isn’t all down to AFSCME. The buck stops with us and what we’re willing to do to bring our contract home.

Sign the petition and make sure our coworkers have as well. If you have any questions, reach out to your facility’s bargaining committee member or to Kevin Hefty at or Seth Anderson-Oberman at


June 7

Baby Steps to Our New Contract

We’re making some progress. 

Our bargaining committee met with the state on Wednesday, June 7th, and reached agreement on making Juneteenth a permanent holiday and allowing employees to carry over holidays and comp time 10 pay periods into the following year before they must be cashed out.  We also agreed to leave some contract articles at the status quo.


Management’s reaction to language on Act 102 made it clear that this will be a major challenge in negotiations. They don’t want to address violations through the grievance procedure while we don’t want to have to use Labor & Industry and have fines paid to “the state.” This feels like moving money from your right pocket to the left versus a real fine. We’re committed to figuring out how to compensate employees who have to work mandatory overtime and ensure it really is reduced to true emergencies.

We meet again on Thursday, June 29th, when we think the state will be ready to dig into the real tough issues and begin addressing economics.   


Thursday, June 29 


We need to practice taking action and showing management that these aren’t just issues that our committee cares about but everyone’s issues. Here’s what we can do:

  • Wear your sticker and take a picture (of yourself or with a group of your coworkers) in the week leading up to June 29th and post to our private Facebook Group.
  • Sign our unity petition. We want to show management that everyone one of us is united to win on our core priorities:
    • Wages that recruit and retain.
    • Schedules that balance life and work.
    • Respect for us as professionals.


We won almost $25,000 for five nurses at the Youth Camp in Loysville who worked the 12pm-8pm shift and came back to work at 7am the next day.  

Our contract says the workday begins with the start of our shift and encompasses the 24-hour period that follows. So if you work 12pm-8pm on Monday and return before noon on Tuesday, that is the same workday.  These five nurses did this repeatedly and their supervisor told them they weren’t eligible for overtime when they absolutely were.  

The grievance win ensures three of the nurses get paid for all the overtime they missed, one gets half, and the other gets less than half, but got the largest payout of $7,000.

If you have a workplace issue and want help, you can contact our Union Member Resource Center at 1-800-252-3894, Monday from 9am to 4:30pm, and Tuesday through Friday from 9am to 5pm.

If you have any questions, reach out to your facility’s bargaining committee member or to Kevin Hefty at or Seth Anderson-Oberman at


May 24

Do you understand all of our benefits?

We met with the state for bargaining on Wednesday and progress continues to be slow as the administration figures out its budget and coordinates its bargaining with multiple unions.  The session began with both sides working to better understand where we’re coming from.

That said, our goal remains clear —  become the Employer of choice for RNs so we can recruit & RETAIN the best healthcare professionals.

The employer responded to our proposals around bidding on open positions at other facilities by highlighting their need to recruit RNs. Several committee members reminded them that the easiest way to address recruitment is to retain the staff you have so you don’t have to hire so many new nurses. It takes about 80 days to fill a vacancy once it is posted and we all know that getting the approval to post it sometimes takes just as long.


Wednesday, June 7



Management needs to understand that our proposals at the bargaining table and our committee in Harrisburg represent the needs and priorities of each and every one of us across the state. We can demonstrate our unity and test our ability to put pressure on them to take us seriously with two actions in the days leading up to our next bargaining session on June 7th.

1. Sign the Unity Petition Here

We want to deliver the petition with all our signatures showing our united resolve to win the contract we need.

2. Wear your Sticker

We wear stickers to show solidarity to each other and test our participation at the local level.  Put on a sticker and take a picture with your coworkers and share them in our private Facebook group so we can all see our coworkers standing up with us at facilities across Pennsylvania.  Make sure to include your coworkers!


The state gave an interesting presentation on our benefits, encouraging us to let our friends who may be looking for a job know what we currently have. But we also know we need to fight for more.

Points of interest:

  • The average employer in the United States pays 72% of the cost of employee health benefits.  The Commonwealth pays 88%.
  • Our benefit plan is categorized as Platinum Plus on the marketplace with the $400 deductible (lower than most.)
  • The average PA worker pays $3,790 to have a baby — we pay $410 if you have the Choice PPO.  (We need to keep our health benefits affordable.)
  • We have 45 days off after two years of employment.  The average Pennsylvania private sector worker doesn’t see that after 20 years and most start at 26 days vs. 36 for our new hires.  (Members of the bargaining committee reminded them that those benefits are only really useful if you can use them and get the time off.)
  • The new parental leave benefit of 6 weeks paid leave for both parents at the birth or adoption of a child is an important new benefit that makes us unique and a great place to work if you are planning to start or expand your family.
  • The Pension is also still a major retention tool. Those hired before 2019 have a much better benefit and we learned that those who were state employees who left can get that better benefit if they return.  Those who start after 2019 have a lower benefit but it is still much better than the private sector. They will receive 37.5% of their final salary in their monthly pension checks but they still aren’t at the mercy of Wall Street when they retire.

We intend to share in more detail when we get the links and copies but this highlights that we have a decent starting point to successfully make our jobs THE place to work.  We need to address our proposals to make salaries competitive, consider work-life balance with scheduling, and end mandatory overtime so we can recruit and retain the nurses and other health professionals we need!

If you have any questions, reach out to your facility’s bargaining committee member or to Kevin Hefty at or Seth Anderson-Oberman at


May 4

Do you have problems requesting time off?

Our bargaining committee met with the state again on Thursday and spent most of our time discussing how jobs get filled and ways to make it easier for nurses to transfer between worksites and departments. Our hope is this can keep nurses from leaving state employment completely, transfer people into vacancies more quickly, and offer the chance to expand career opportunities within the state system.   

Whitney Mullen described how it took six years and 10 interviews to transfer from Torrance State Hospital to the Department of Health. Others shared similar concerns including the frustration of one nurse who, after waiting six months to transfer, ended up quitting the state completely. While some managers are worried about “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” it’s better to fill a vacancy than have to hire two new nurses. 

We have ideas to address concerns about transfers having a probation period or people who bid on every job or start job hopping while still expanding and speeding up job opportunities. 



It’s clear most issues come back to staffing. Holidays and vacations are examples of a chicken vs. egg problem where if we had enough staff, everyone would agree to give people off whenever they wanted. We discussed how to address concerns — if we can’t offer $40,000 bonuses like some places do, can we at least make sure you don’t work Christmas two years in a row or can get a vacation that includes a weekend? 

We shared examples of local side agreements on holidays and vacation and discussed best practices. No one should bid on vacation blind  Every facility with an agreement and that has a process that works includes some version of a vacation calendar so you can pick time off based on what vacation slots are available (considering seniority.)  You should be able to pick a slot you know you will get instead of throwing vacation slips blindly at a dartboard.   

Many examples include some weekend slots people can get during pre-post.  Mike Tyson shared his passionate frustration about how “arbitrary” it seems to deny a weekend with five months advance notice. Staffing on weekends is a legitimate challenge but we talked about transparency and advanced planning. 

If people are never approved they call off instead. That is the worst outcome. At least with approved vacation, you have months of advanced notice to pre-post overtime or get PRNs to cover the person’s absence instead of getting the call on Friday night or Saturday morning that they aren’t coming in.  We laughed at the “extraordinary day” in our contract negotiated exactly because of this weekend off problem. 

We had a fruitful discussion but we have yet to come to concrete results.  We will see how this discussion shapes actual contract language and new proposals at our next meeting. 



Wednesday, May 24 & Wednesday, June 7



Bargaining is scheduled to take place again on Wednesday, May 24, and Wednesday, June 7.   Talk to your bargaining committee member about showing your support for our contract priorities by wearing your stickers on May 23rd and signing our unity petition.

We have to demonstrate that across the state we are united and prepared to do whatever it takes to make Pennsylvania an employer where nurses and other health professionals want to come to work.

If you have any questions, reach out to your facility’s bargaining committee member or to Kevin Hefty at


April 19

We’re saying goodbye to Jay

On Wednesday, our Bargaining Committee (BC) met with the state’s management team again and one big piece of news coming out of the latest session is the retirement of Jay Gasdaska, the State’s Chief Negotiator. While many of us have had our frustrations with Jay, we did reach a good agreement last time. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t.

Our session today was much longer than many of us expected. We reviewed our proposals and management’s and after much discussion, we think we are in for a long and difficult contract fight because each and every one of us is serious about our key priorities.

Management has signaled that it does see room to work on issues like recruitment and retention but it’s clear we have very different ideas about what that will take and what’s necessary to be competitive.

“What exactly does management mean when they talk about our wages being ‘market value?’ Who are we being compared to? Because if they’re comparing us to all RNs across PA, we are surely being paid below market value.”

— Whitney Mullen, RN, DOH

The cost of our potential new contract came up again today.  Management called our proposals “rich” and “lengthy” but investing in our healthcare professionals is going to take prioritizing resources to the bedside. And their proposals on members sharing healthcare costs are a move in the wrong direction.

We’ll be bargaining again on May 4th and it’s clear we’re going to have to start preparing for a difficult battle. We’ll be sharing next steps soon. In the meantime, if you have any questions, reach out to your facility’s bargaining committee member or to Kevin Hefty at


April 11

Update from our first bargaining session with the new administration

On Tuesday, our Bargaining Committee (BC) met with the state’s management team under the new administration to present our proposals and our case for the importance of investing in Commonwealth Health Professionals.

We let them know our goal with these negotiations is simple: we want to make Pennsylvania the employer of choice for healthcare professionals. We want to fill our vacancies, retain our dedicated staff, and ensure safe and adequate staffing as we continue to deliver the best care and services on behalf of the Commonwealth.

We identified three key issues to help us achieve those goals:

  1. Compensation that will recruit and retain staff;
  2. Scheduling that balances life and work and eliminating mandatory overtime;
  3. Respect for us as professionals and empower us to lead.

“Management seemed attentive to our presentation and took a lot of notes. They seemed particularly interested in our statistics about member safety issues and concerns.”  Diana Tetkoskie, RN, Torrence State Hospital

 While there did seem to be agreement on some minor Holiday issues, management made it clear that we would have to fight for what we know we deserve. Jay Gasdaska, the State’s Chief Negotiator, called our proposals “quite ambitious” and indicated that there are “lean times” ahead for the Commonwealth. Their proposal was short and contained significant cuts to our current contract. 

“This is my first time bargaining a contract so I was disappointed in management’s bare-bones proposal. Management claims the state has no additional funds but my colleagues on the bargaining committee assure me we’ve been here before. It just means we have to fight harder. And we will.”  —  Amy Bing, RN, SCI Mahanoy

While this is a disappointing opening proposal by management, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before and been able to overcome. It just means we’ll need to stay united, be firm in holding our ground, and remain strong in the face of adversity. We know that when we are united in our fight, we win.

We’ll be bargaining again on April 19th and expect to share our responses to our proposals at that time. In the meantime, if you have any questions about bargaining, reach out to your facility’s bargaining committee member (see the full Bargaining Committee list here) or to Kevin Hefty at

Have questions? Reach out to our Member Resource Center at 1-800-252-3894

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