Saturday, January 28, 2012

Negotiation Update, 1/27/12

You know the background.  We voted to join together as a union May 11, to gain a voice for ourselves and our patients and to demand the respect we deserve.
In August we gave management an entire contract proposal.  They have had 8 months to adapt to the idea that we are standing up for ourselves, 6 months to consider our proposal and let us know what they think and where they stand.
They promised to come to us this week with economic proposals, something they had not done after 8 months.We met twice this week, for 12 hours.
They responded to our August proposals on shift and weekend differentials, on call status, charge pay, bereavement, jury/court appearance, FMLA, and military leave.
Most of these are current policies. 
We can agree to jury/court appearance and charge pay.  The rest need clarification and/or more negotiating.

They did not respond to our August proposals on overtime, holidays, sick time, dependent care days, wellness days, child care center, personal leave, disability leave, vacations, tuition reimbursement, insurance, pension, 403B, or wages.

After 8 months of us organizing and 6 months of negotiations we are no closer to knowing where they stand on these issues. 
To be honest, I don't know if THEY know where they stand.

What does this mean?
There are two thoughts that come to mind. 
Either they are still intent on busting our union or they hope to stall long enough that we tire and accept whatever they are willing to propose.
I'm getting mixed messages.  On the one hand they have hired a new human resources director who has successfully worked with a union at another hospital and but then they announced a new vice president/chief nursing officer who is on record as being strongly anti-union.

What are our options?
I see 3.
1.  Accept whatever they propose.
2.  Strike for what we deserve.
3.  Engage is organizing actions.

Number 1 is unacceptable,
2 is something none of us want and is not being considered at this time. 
That leaves us with number 3.
(commercials, reaching out to board member, doctors, the community, other union brothers and sisters, our political friends, and attending negotiations and rallies)

We have to remember that EVERYONE HAS A BOSS.  The hospital lawyer and the hospital negotiation's team answer to the CEO and he answers to the board of directors.  In practice the board should answer to the community.

We have a responsibility to stand up for ourselves, our families, our patients and our community. 

We will fulfill that responsibility.

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