Clinical Ladder to be Retained
Our Union Bargaining Team had some success in negotiations on May 4. Management initially proposed that supervisors have 100 percent control over whether an RN’s application to Clinical Ladder is accepted or not. Our team stuck to their proposal that the Clinical Ladder remain as-is. After a long day of discussions, management agreed to retain our Clinical Ladder program as it is currently written. They also agreed that if the hospital establishes a Clinical Ladder Committee, it will operate by consensus, as well as to extend specialty pay to additional employees.
“Nurses in all areas must have demonstrated ability to perform the duties of the specialty as specified by the Employer. Unless waived by the Employer, this ability must be demonstrated to the Employer’s satisfaction during a period of at least three (3) months of full-time employment (or its equivalent for part-time employees) in the employer’s hospital.
“The Employer reserves the right, any time prior to the term of this contract, to establish a Clinical Ladder committee to evaluate and modify the criteria specified in the Clinical Ladder process. The committee will be comprised of bargaining unit nurses selected by the Patient Care Committee and managers chosen by the Department of Nursing. The Committee would present their proposals to the CNO for consideration.”
In essence, management’s proposal would have given supervisors the right to grant or not grant an employee’s application to the Clinical Ladder. This could lead to favoritism instead of an objective evaluation of an RNs skills.
“The Employer reserves the right any time prior to the term of this contract, to establish a Clinical Ladder Committee to evaluate and modify the criteria specified in the Clinical Ladder process. The hospital will notify the Union of the need to create such a committee.
“There shall be an equal number of bargaining unit RNs and managers on the Committee. The Union shall select RNs to participate on this Committee. The Department of Nursing shall select the managers or RNs to participate on this committee. All meeting times shall be paid time.
“The Committee will operate on consensus. Upon reaching consensus, the Committee will present its proposals to the CNO for consideration. No changes to the Clinical Ladder will be made during the term of this agreement.”
This means that our Clinical Ladder applications will now be approved or not approved by consensus of a committee of our peers and managers, making it so that neither management nor our Union can impose their vision alone. This, along with the fact that no changes can be made to our Clinical Ladder program during the life of the contract, is a big win!