Thursday, June 21, 2012

Understanding our contract, Articles 1,2,3

I thought I might work my way through our contract and do my best to explain the articles.  Please remember, I am not a labor lawyer, and some things are open to different interpretations.

Articles 1,2,3.
Intent, Recognition, Definitions.

Basically, these three articles state that this is a contract between the hospital and the Employees, who are the union, covering working conditions.  This includes hourly RNs who work full or part time for W W Backus hospital. including at the main hospital, the BOCC, and the new Plainfield ED.  It does not include those working at the Backus out patient centers in Colchester or Montville or for Backus Home Care, because they do not work for the hospital, they are under a different wing of Backus Corporation.

It defines part time as a budgeted position of at least 4 hours a week.

It defines per diem as not being covered by the contract and working on an "as needed" basis, not required to work any set hours, position, or schedule to maintain employment.
I know this is somewhat confusing.  Basically, the union wanted to keep all RNs in the bargaining unit and the hospital wanted to exclude as many as possible.  It's the strongest language we could get.

The hospital has tried to clarify this with their new policy that per diems must be available for 96 hours every 6 months including one holiday.  96 hours is less than the 4 hours that defines part time and it does not state that per diems must "work" 96 hours, only be available.  It also does not state that per diems must work any particular day of the week, such as weekends or any particular holiday.

If something changes in the policy or in how it is carried out in practice, we will evaluate and if appropriate, we will claim these nurses as part time and thus covered by the contract.

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