Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Negotiations update

I get asked all the time how negotiations are going. I'm glad people are interested.
In the weeks preceding negotiations your committee spent night after night preparing a complete contract proposal. We presented this at our first negotiation session on September 6.
Since then management has given us counter proposals on about 1/3 of the contract, mostly on "nuts and bolts" issues, dealing with the relationship between the union and the hospital.
On another night we gave a power point presentation on our wages proposal. This can be viewed at Management has not yet responded to this or any of our wage or benefit issues.

People also ask me, do you think management will give us "you fill in the blank?"
Management will give us nothing!
Let me repeat myself.
Management will give us nothing!
We will get the contract we are willing to fight for.

Why do I say this?
First: management feels it's their job to give in as little as possible.
Second: History.
If you were here when Wellspring Consulting came to town I ask you to remember back. With the loss of certification pay, longevity pay, shift differential decrease, wellness and sick days loss, change in insurance coverage, and on and on, how much did you lose? For some it was as much as $8000!
Now remember one more thing, that was not a one time loss, that was each and every year, taken from you and your family.
If you came to Backus after Wellspring consider this, you lost the potential for the above income. Now multiply that times the number of years you will work. That could be a mortgage payment or a child's education.
If you are are a manager, ask yourself, is turnover in my department higher or lower since Wellspring? How many fellow managers have you seen "walked out"?
Since Wellspring what has happened to senior management? They have done well, with wage and benefit increases as high as 28%/year.

If we will only get what we are willing to fight for, what can we do?
Your committee is not without resources. You will see them used in the coming months in an effort to show management that it is in their interest to work with us.
At times we will ask your help in these efforts. Know that your committee will lead the way.
For now, come to negotiations whenever you can. Our numbers are our strength. I thank you for your support. Our next negotiation is Nov. 14th, this time at the Courtyard Marriott in Norwich.
We took a giant step in May but the struggle is not over.
Our goal is worth fighting for, a better Backus Hospital for our patients, our families, and our community.

No comments: