After our July 21 bargaining session, during which management insisted they had given us their final offer, our Union requested the assistance of a Federal Mediator to help us move negotiations along in a positive manner.
Our Bargaining Team met nearly every day this week in an effort to hammer out a proposal that would meet the pressing financial needs of the hospital, as well as retain the most important elements of our current contract. Our team has reviewed all pay programs that involve overtime pay — IHR, extra shifts, double time on weekends, charge pay, and Providence’s plan to freeze wages.
We met with management on Thursday, August 4 and presented our counter-proposal to management’s July 21 “final offer.”
At this stage, we must make very difficult decisions that will affect our pay and working conditions.
The most important part of our contract we are fighting to retain are our wage scales. Our wage scale provides equity and fairness to all employees by ensuring that all bedside caregivers receive the same pay for the same years of experience. With the hospital’s plan, our wage scales would be destroyed because the wages would be frozen for current employees and then dropped 6 percent over two years for new employees.
This would put roughly 70 percent of us above “scale.” RNs and Pros who were still not up to the negotiated scale by 2011 would remain below scale. And those hired in 2011 and 2012 would create groups of employees making 3 and 6 percent less respectively than current employees. Confusing? You bet! But our team members are keeping a cool head and studying management’s proposals very carefully.
Click here to see how Tarzana RN wages would compare to other area hospitals if management's plan is adopted.
Our Union team is also discussing the start date for the Providence retirement program. The program would mean a lot to many employees, but we also must negotiate a contract that if fair for all. We are reviewing our options so that we win the best contract we can for the majority of our members.
While negotiations are ongoing, all aspects of our previous contract remain in force. IHR, extra shifts, double time on weekends, charge pay, call-off / flexing order, floating language, etc. If you feel our contract has not been followed, please contact your steward or Union Representative Judith Serlin at (213) 247-4584.