Northwestern Employees Ratify First AFSCME Contract

Mar 01, 2005, 00:00 ET from AFSCME Council 13

    HARRISBURG, Pa., March 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Employees of Northwestern Human
 Services (NHS), Pennsylvania's largest provider of mental health and mental
 retardation services, have voted to accept their first contract.  The
 three-and-a-half year agreement was negotiated by AFSCME, the American
 Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, on behalf of
 approximately 1500 NHS employees across Pennsylvania.
     The final margin was 20:1 in favor of accepting the agreement, which
 outlines increases in pay and benefits for the agency's mental health
 professionals, mental health non-professionals, and mental retardation
     "Both the spirit of this partnership and the terms of this agreement
 should be held as a national model in labor-management relations," said M.
 Joseph Rocks, Chief Executive Officer of NHS.  A provider of community-based
 treatment programs for addiction, mental health, mental retardation,
 children's services and juvenile justice, NHS operates more than 400 treatment
 facilities throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio, and Virginia.
     "This agreement is a victory for our members and for the clients they
 serve," said David Fillman, Executive Director of AFSCME Council 13, which
 represents nearly 65,000 public service employees in the Commonwealth.