Saturday, August 25, 2012

Union Update 8/25/12

It may not seem like it but much has been happening in your Local recently, but it has.
We continue to meet with management on various issues both at Labor/Management meetings and in between. One of the hot topics is the new schedule changes.  Many people have asked why these have been occurring.  Most people I speak to feel that the schedules worked pretty well the way they were.  I would agree.  Some have asked if the changes are a retaliation for us organizing. 
Management has assured us that the changes were planned well before we began organizing but that during our organizing and negotiating they were barred from implementing any changes.  It is true that during this time the law is clear that they could make no changes to working conditions.  Management assures us that they are now implementing these changes that they had already planned and that they feel are needed for the operation of the hospital.
Management retains most of their rights to make changes in schedules under our contract.  You might ask why.  Because schedules were not a problem in the past and we were unaware that there were planned changes, we did not address them in great deal in the contract, there were plenty of other "problems" for us to fight for. If we cannot come to a somewhat equitable solution, we will make them a priority in our next contract. In the meantime, we work with management to find a solution that works for all involved.
We have had 17 members attend Delegate training, thank you so much to them.  Michelle Hayes, our Vice President/Chief Delegate will be reaching out to them to see which are interested now that they have a good idea of what is involved.  We are still looking for more interested members to fill this role. Being a Delegate is one of the most important roles in a union and a great service to your coworkers. Soon we will officially appoint them and we make an announcement and posting.
Speaking of postings, our new bulletin boards should be up in your break rooms.  They are 18" x18".  They should have an official posting with some contact information.  If you do not have the bulletin board or the posting please let me know.
We had our first executive board meeting this week.  Future meetings will be on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 PM. In an effort to be reachable by all members, Michelle Hayes and I will have phones dedicated to member access.  You can reach me at 860-908-9711.
I am beginning to look for members to serve on committees.  If you have an interest, please contact me.  I will be serving on the United Way drive committee at the hospital.  It's an opportunity to expand the relationship we already have with the United Way and work with management on something that is of benefit to the community.
I encourage everyone to get the flu shot, unless you cannot for medical reasons or religious beliefs. I do not anticipate any problems with these exemption, but if so please contact me.
Finally, the hospital board have approved the affiliation with Hartford.  Next will come a lengthy process with the state to prove a need and that the communities interest will be protected.  This is the Certificate of Need, or CON.  We will monitor this process all the way though and study the CON in great detail.  If we are satisfied that the affiliation is in the best interest of our patients, our community and our members, then we will endorse it.  If we feel it is not in their best interest will will oppose it. Anyone interested in being part of this should contact me.
We already have sister AFT heath care locals who are a part of the Hartford Healthcare system.
I want to thank you all for your patience during this time between elections of officers and selecting and training of delegates, etc. It's taking some time, but we are making progress.

No comments: