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CHW Must Negotiate Healthcare & Retirement Changes

August 31, 2011

Catholic Healthcare West President Lloyd Dean sent a letter to all CHW employees on August 29 outlining the company’s plans for growth and cost containment. He talks about excellence in patient care, improving the quality of life of patients and the communities we serve, and implementing Transformational Care throughout CHW. This is all good and, as RNs, we’re committed to making our patients healthier and happier.

Dean says as part of their goal to contain costs, they want to reform our health and retirement benefits. Don’t panic. Since our healthcare plans and pension benefits are negotiated as a part of our SEIU Local 121RN Collective Bargaining Agreement, CHW can not change our benefits without first negotiating with us.

At this time, no changes have been made to our benefits. CHW will have the opportunity to bring up their issues with benefits when we begin bargaining a new contract in 2012.

We know that many organizations have been hit hard in this economic recession. However, CHW remains healthy. We work hard and we have earned the health benefits and the real retirement that our pension will provide. For CHW — a company that prides itself on virtue and care of others — taking this away would be a stark departure from their core values. And, our Union’s research shows that CHW’s benefit costs are not what management claims they are.

They’re just taking advantage of the timing and jumping on the “bad economy” bandwagon.

CHW is a healthy, wealthy company with $11.8 billion in assets. Let’s stop letting them take every little loss out of our paychecks.

We don’t put our patients or hospital on the line, so why should we let CHW hang us out to dry?

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