Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Understanding our contract, Articles 24-27

If I don't make some progress on this walk through our contract it will be time to start over by the time I finish.

Article 24 Evaluations
Yes the hospital has the right, and some would argue the obligation, to evaluate the nurses. They have the right to determine the form of the evaluation and what will be evaluated.  Nurses have a right to respond in writing.
The evaluations do not effect wage increases.  Wages are negotiated and spelled out in the contract. Neither the hospital nor the union can use the evaluations in any future arbitrations.  This means that if you get an unfavorable evaluation, and then at some time in the future you are disciplined and we grieve that discipline, the evaluation could not be used as evidence against you in arbitration.  On the other hand, should you receive a favorable evaluation and then find yourself in arbitration, you could not use that as evidence to benefit yourself.
So, you might ask, why have evaluations?  It should be a non punitive tool to evaluate nurses to take a fresh look at strengths and weaknesses and to use that in an effort to become even better nurses.
Some have asked me, "Do I still have to do my goals if my wages are no longer tied to them?"  Yes, the hospital has asked you to accomplish certain goals and pays you for the time to accomplish those goals, so do them to the best of your ability.

Article 25 Job Descriptions
We all have job descriptions, the hospital has the right to modify them and we have a right to a copy of them and the right to "effects bargaining" over any changes.
What is "effects bargaining"?
The hospital has the right under our contract to do many things to operate the hospital.  On many of these, we have the right to "effects bargaining".
Let me give you an example.
As for job descriptions, say the hospital changed the description to say that all nurses need to be certified in XYZ. We would bargain how and when any training would take place.
Here's a real life example:
The hospital has decided to place everyone in LDRP on 12 hour shifts, this is their right.
Because we have "effects bargaining" on schedule changes we are bargaining how the new 12 hour shifts will be dispersed, what will happen to any potentially displaced nurses, etc. 
So, we were able to bargain a waiver of the rule that if you transfer to another department instead of accepting a 12 hour shift, then you would not be held to the normal rule of being unable to bid on new jobs for 6 months.

Article 26 Shift Differentials
This sets the hours for evening and night differentials, basically an additional $3.25/hour for evenings and $4.25/hour for nights.

Article 27 Weekend Differentials
If you work the weekend you get an additional $5/hour (and you don't have to go to your spouse's second cousin's wedding)

Really though, God Bless all the staff working evenings, nights, weekends, and holidays. The little extra we get is richly deserved.

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