Thursday, October 25, 2012

Understanding our contract, Articles 53-61

Article 53, Health assessment and Disease Prevention
The hospital has the right to require employees to complete workplace related health assessments, and participate in workplace related preventative and disease control regimens.
(This is how they can require flu shots or masks.)

Article 55, Hospital Rules and Policies
The hospital can enforce existing and new rules and policies as long as they do not conflict with the contract.  The Union can demand that the hospital bargain the effects of any such change.  (this is how we can bargain the effects of flu shots)

Article 54, Technological Changes
The hospital may introduce new technology.  If the new technology requires a non-supervisory RN to perform, such position will be filled by a bargaining unit nurse and training will be provided.  Any bargaining unit job displaced by such change will be covered by article 23 (reduction of force) of the contract.

Article 56, Electronic Monitoring
The hospital may continue current and will notify the union of any new monitoring and will not monitor union activity.

Article 57, Contracting
The hospital has the right to contract outside the bargaining unit and will notify the union of any intent to permanent contracting of such work 60 days in advance.  the union may demand effects bargaining.  Any layoffs as a result will be governed by article 23 of the contract.

Article 58, Hospital Operation
The location, means and methods relating to the operation of the hospital and any closure, relocation, restructuring, or reconfiguration of the hospital is within the rights of the hospital and the union can demand effects bargaining.
(Many of these changes would also fall under the scrutiny of the state and would require a Certificate of Need, which we would monitor, and in which we would call on our political friends.  The recent opening of the Plainfield ED and affiliation with Hartford are examples we are currently monitoring.  Should such changes be a benefit to the community and our members we would endorse them.)

Article 60, Safety
The hospital and union recognize the obligation to provide a safe work environment.

Article 61, Duration
This contract is in force until May 16, 2015, when we will negotiate a new contract.

That ends our walk though of our contract, it was 118 years in the making, it's not perfect, but for a first contract, it's pretty good.  Future contracts will build on this one.