We met Monday till about 11:30 pm.
We made some progress but it is painfully slow. Our recent campaign with the commercial, the publishing of the hospital's financial records, and the several labor board charges we have filed has helped.
We have successfully negotiated the use of Conference room 1 for union meetings, but not negotiations. We will hold update meetings a day or two after negotiation sessions.
We have tentative agreements on several "nuts and bolts" issues that deal with the relationship between the hospital and our local. One of the most important in my opinion is a good grievance procedure.
When we have tentative agreement on ALL the issues they become our tentative contract.
ALL UNION MEMBERS will then vote on this tentative contract and if and only if it passes will it become our ratified contract.
The hospital has promised to start answering our proposals on economic issues.
This is when we really need member support to negotiate well.
Greg Kotecki is a skillful negotiator and your 16 union committee members sitting across from the 4 hospital committee members is impressive, but it's the people filling the rest of the seats in the room that make us strong.
Think of it this way- when we have a patient in the emergency room getting out of control, we call for help. When all of security and numerous ED staff members arrive in a "show of force" the patient usually complies with less of a fight.
Members filling the chairs are our "show of force".
Either way we will negotiate a contract. How strong that contract is, how good a deal we can negotiate, depends directly on how strong our "show of force" is.
Our next round of negotiations is the week after Thanksgiving. It is a marathon session, 3 nights in a row, November 28, 29, 30.
The negotiations committee will be there, for all 18 hours or so, we need you to be there also.
I'm asking everyone to look at their schedules, find 30 minutes on one of those 3 nights and commit to it.
On another matter, I would like to welcome Karen Knight to the hospital. Karen comes to us from Olean General Hospital in upstate New York. Olean General is a member of the NYSNA union family and Karen has experience working with the union. We look forward to a long, productive relationship working together to make Backus the best possible hospital for it's patients, employees and the community.