The labor union representing service workers at The Johns Hopkins Hospital are planning a march and media blitz to criticize the hospital's labor practices after contract negotiations ordered by a federal mediator broke down late Wednesday.
The workers, members of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East labor union, plan to march in downtown Baltimore May 10. Next week, they will place commercials on Baltimore radio stations and advertisements in national newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. It will also run advertisements in The Baltimore Sun.
The union has been pushing for a $15 minimum wage for workers with at least 15 years of experience in the first year of a proposed four-year contract, with every Hopkins worker earning at least $14 an hour by the end of the contract. Workers now make between $10.71 and $27.88 per hour, depending on their job.
Hopkins has not spoken publicly about its proposal, but members of the union bargaining committee said the hospital offered a five-year contract with annual raises no higher than 2 percent and a minimum wage of $12.25 an hour.
"We appreciate all that our employees do for Johns Hopkins Hospital and are continuing to negotiate in good faith to reach a settlement that's fair to everyone and reflects financial responsibility on the part of the hospital," Hopkins said in a statement.