Members of New York's SEIU 1199 Upstate and 1199 SEIU have approved by a better than 10-to-1 margin a plan to create one statewide union for healthcare employees. Balloting took place over the past two weeks at both locals. The upstate local is composed of 17,000 hospital and nursing home workers and was formed three years ago by the merger of three healthcare employee locals based in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. Local 1199 comprises 220,000 healthcare and human services workers primarily in the New York metropolitan area. The merger will become effective Jan. 1, with 1199 SEIU President Dennis Rivera taking the helm of the overall organization and 1199 Upstate President Marshall Blake becoming director of the new organization's upstate division. -- by Cinda Becker
N.Y. healthcare unions to merge
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