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FINALLY — Progress at the Dignity Bargaining Table!

June 18, 2012

Our SEIU 121RN Bargaining Team has made some progress at the bargaining table with Dignity management. During negotiations June 13-14, seven tentative agreements were signed.

Unscheduled Absences TA On Thursday, June 14, our team and management reached agreement on Article 41 regarding Unscheduled Absences. We will keep the current “calendar year” model for tracking unscheduled absences. Dignity had been trying to change it to a rolling 12-month period, which would have started the year at the first unscheduled absence at any time of year and calculated 12 months from then. So if an RN had an unscheduled absence on April 30 of one year, a subsequent unscheduled absence could be counted all the way up to April 29 of the following year.

Other Tentative Agreements

UHW Strike Notice Our sister Union, UHW, filed notice with Dignity management that they will hold a strike June 26 through June 29. UHW says that management is proposing cuts to their healthcare plan, retirement, education funds and layoff benefits. Management won’t concede to giving across-the-board raises, which UHW says will put 5,000 workers far below their proper place on the wage scale. UHW also says Dignity is stalling negotiations and not bargaining in good faith.

What this means for SEIU 121RN members: It is an individual RN’s decision whether or not to honor the UHW strike line. Our Union can not take a position, but RNs are protected by Federal law if they choose to honor or not honor a picket line.

If you feel that you personally can not cross the UHW picket line for moral or personal reasons, you must come to work and actually see the picket line before you call your supervisor or manager to tell them you won’t be coming in. DO NOT CALL FROM HOME. If the strike ends early, you can be fired for not coming to work. Managers may ask if you plan to cross the picket line. It is up to you how you respond, whether it’s yes, no or ‘I don’t know.” But even if you tell your supervisor you will not cross, you still must come to work that day and then call your manager/supervisor. You do not have to give 2-hour notice. If you do not cross the UHW picket line and you are disciplined by management for any reason and you feel it is in retaliation for not crossing the picket line, contact your Union Rep immediately.

Letter to Physicians Our Bargaining Team mailed a letter to all Northridge and St. John’s physicians asking for their support in our negotiations. The letter addresses our concerns about how management’s proposed changes to our contract will affect staffing, quality of care and patient safety.

The letter closes: “We won’t settle for a contract that takes away our workplace or patient protections and we hope you will support us in our endeavors.”

Show your support! Wear your Union buttons or colors. Sign up for bargaining updates by contacting:

Northridge: Mimi Holt, RN (213) 247-4589 / St. John’s: Chris Slane, RN (805) 279-1198 /

Click here to view and/or print complete flyer.