Thursday, March 22, 2012

Negotiation update 3/22/12

On Monday, when Governor Malloy came to support us at our rally, he said we should meet around the clock to get a contract.

On Wednesday, we met.  At 9:30 pm, management was ready to pack it up.  We kept them there till 10:30 by working up and delivering a comprehensive counter proposal on all outstanding issues.  They said they needed to look it over and would get back to us next week. Compare this to recent sessions where we have been meeting until 2:00 or 3:00 am.

Management had offered an increase in insurance premiums of 15 % for full time and 30% for part time nurses over the life of the contract. (3 years)  Because that is an increase in our share of the total cost, and because the total cost of insurance rises each year, it means that a full time nurse's premium for a family plan would increase from $56.65/week to $150.69/week and for a part time nurse the would be from $113.30/week to $301.49/week!

Couple that with their proposal on wages.

Initially they proposed to continue the way they have always done, they decide each year what if any raise to give.  Wednesday, they proposed to tie raises into increases in medicare reimbursement rates, which are scheduled to decline!  This may be worse than their initial proposal!

A part time nurse would see an insurance premium increase of $301.49/week with no guarantee of any increase in salary over the next 3 years!

How can that nurse, with a family and a mortgage, afford to stay at Backus?

I am involved because I see turnover of nurses as a bad thing for patient outcome.  We will never have experienced nurses at Backus if we cannot retain them.  Experienced nurses are safer nurses!

It is a patient safety issue!

We feel so strongly that we gave them the needed notice last night that we will be holding an informational picket at the hospital on April 2nd, 7:30 am - 8:00 pm.  This is not a work stoppage. Nurses scheduled to work should do so.  This is an opportunity to take our concerns for patient safety to the people of Norwich that we serve.

If you agree with us, join us. 

We meet next Tuesday and Thursday at the Courtyard Marriott at 5:30.

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