Friday, January 4, 2013

Local 5149 this week

You might think the end of the year would be a quiet time for the Local.  I thought it would be.  Several members of management took extended weekends, what with the holidays being on Tuesdays and our state inspection just behind us. I thought things would be quiet.   I was wrong.
Before I go on, let me say a thing or two about the state inspection. 
I know the inspections can be a pain but think about it, if the state wasn't keeping a good eye on the hospitals what would happen?  And, we did well, thanks in a large part to the working people from all departments who are out there day and night getting it done.
Yeah us!

Like I said, it was a busy week.  Seems the year ended with the issuing of multiple warnings to nurses, many of them for attendance.  That means the year started for us with the issuing of multiple grievances.
Let me review grievances.  If there is a violation of the contract, or someone is disciplined unfairly, or other abnormalities occur, we have the right to grieve it. 
One important point.
We have only 10 days to file!
So, if you are wondering if something should be grieved, speak to a delegate or officer right away and see what they say.
There are 3 steps in the grievance process.  At each step we sit and discuss the issue with the Clinical Coordinator, then the VP of patient care services, and finally the VP of HR.  Hopefully we come to an agreement at one of these points and the grievance is thus settled, but if we don't, we can file for arbitration and one of our field reps represents our case before an independent judge, who has the final word.
So remember, we have only 10 days to file and also remember to ask for union representation if you are called into a meeting when questions are asked of you that could possibly lead to discipline, it's your right.
We also helped one of our members who had a positive T Spot test (TB).  Luckily she does not have active TB but will need treatment.  The hospital is unable to find a history of her being exposed so they claim she is not eligible for Workers Comp.  We helped her to file the forms needed to claim Workers Comp as an individual and are making our law firm available to her.  They will review the case and represent her at no charge, another union benefit.  She's upset by the whole thing but doing well.

Applications for the 2013 AFT Connecticut Scholarship program are now available. The deadline for submission is April 1, 2013. If you email me at I will send you the forms.

The last class of Resident Nurses will be receiving dues rebate checks in about 2 weeks.  Our intent was to not collect dues from them until their probation is over because they do not have full union protection till then, but in our "growing pains" we started collecting on day one.  The right thing to do is to reimburse them and that's what we're doing.

We have a tentative date of March 9 for a food drive to benefit the Gemma E. Moran United Way Labor Food Center.  It will be at the Norwich Stop and Shop, probably early morning to mid afternoon.  We had 2 such drives last year and we filled the United Way truck with donated food.  This year our the members of SPFPA Local 692 (our security officers and support staff union) will join us.  Please consider donating an hour or two.  Families are both welcome and encouraged.

Finally, our AFT brothers and sisters at Sandy Hook Elementary School have been reunited in the classroom with their students.  As we pray for their recovery we must also work to curb violence in any school and any workplace.  AFT at the state and national level has been active in this regard and now will work even harder at it. Many of us have faced violence on the job.  It is NOT acceptable and there are things that we can do.  If you feel you'd like to help in this regard, please contact me.

Here's hoping for a q**** week.