RI Hospital, Teamsters Local 251 reach 5-year contract agreement

April 12, 2019

Members of Lifespan and Teamsters Local 251 leadership stand in front of Rhode Island Hospital
Pictured are (L-R) Timothy J. Babineau, MD, Lifespan president and CEO; Lisa Abbott, Lifespan senior vice president of human resources and community affairs; Gary DaSilva, radiology tech assistant and Local 251 liaison; Paul Santos, Local 251 president and business agent; Matt Taibi, Local 251 secretary treasurer and principal officer; Matthew Maini, Local 251 business agent; Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, Rhode Island Hospital president; Tony Suazo, receiving clerk and Local 251 vice president/RIH steward; Bill Schmiedeknecht, Lifespan vice president for business partnerships & labor relations.

Rhode Island Hospital and Teamsters Local 251 are pleased to have reached a five-year contract agreement, effective April 1, 2019 through March 31, 2024. Union membership overwhelmingly ratified the tentative agreement proposed to them on Thursday, April 11.

The agreement includes annual wage increases of 3 percent each year for a total of 15% over the five-year contract term. Effective April 2023, a minimum wage of $15 per hour for all positions will go into effect across the Lifespan system. The contract offers competitive health coverage benefits for full and part-time employees, along with retirement and earned time benefits for future employees that align with the overall Lifespan system benefits. It injects stability in the workforce by addressing transfers, leaves of absence and the use of per diem employees.

The negotiations process included dozens of hours at the table, with a high degree of professionalism and cooperation, and both parties are confident that this is a fair and sustainable agreement that reflects the value placed on the 2,500 Local 251-represented employees.

“After months of member-to-member organizing and surveying the needs of the members, the Teamsters Local 251 negotiating committee set out to satisfy key demands of the workers,” said Matthew Taibi, Secretary Treasurer and Principal Officer of Local 251. “This contract addresses the important issues of fair wage increases, a $15 minimum wage, Teamster healthcare benefits, retirement security, quality jobs that support families, and job security.

“The valuable employees represented by Local 251 comprise a broad cross-section of the Rhode Island Hospital workforce,” said Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital. “Our CNAs, unit secretaries, environmental services, central transport, facilities, buildings and grounds, and other key personnel who are Local 251 members are the backbone of keeping the hospital functioning and friendly to all who pass through its doors. We are grateful for their work, and pleased to have agreed upon this smart and fair contract.”

Media Contact

Christina Spaight O'Reilly

Senior Public Relations Officer
Rhode Island Hospital