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No Comment from Management on Clinical Ladder

June 24, 2013

The hospital’s bargaining team was silent on the Clinical Ladder except to say they heard our concerns. We continue to register our disappointment with the incomplete outline they presented to us and show our concern about the potential wage reduction for current Clinical Nurse 2, Clinical Nurse 3 and Clinical Nurse 4.

Issues With Medical Approvals? File an Appeal

After the hospital’s management team made their Clinical Ladder proposal last week, Providence’s Director of Health and Welfare Plans made a presentation on our current healthcare plans. The director focused on the PPO plans, explaining the HSA and the HRA plans.

We raised concerns about:

In response to the problems we shared with him, he stressed that if employees have a problem with the drug plan, they should use the appeal rights cited in the plans.

Union Proposals

Education Benefits – Management has emphasized that they want employees to take classes, have degrees, etc. To that end we proposed that tuition reimbursement be returned to the $4,000 per year that it was prior to this contract, and that CEU reimbursements be as follows:

We also want the hospital’s current policy that states that mandatory classes are considered work time inserted into our contract.

Leaves of Absence - We proposed that the hospital offer employees an Educational Leave and suggested that there be a comprehensive list of leaves (FMLA, Pregnancy Disability, Military, Family, Workers’ Compensation, Family School, and Voting) so that we know our rights.

Wage Increases to Start

Employees whose base hourly rate is below the appropriate step rate on the scale will receive a raise of up to 3 percent on the pay period closest to July 1. This was negotiated in 2011 for our current contract and should not be confused with raises we are fighting to win in our upcoming contract. (Current CBA, Article 13, Page 30)

121RN Supports Laid-Off Workers

Our Union stands with the four employees who have been laid off and offer our support. As the hospital continues to hire and create positions that have not previously existed, we ask that Tarzana offer jobs to these members of our Tarzana community, some of whom have worked for years at our hospital. A job offer would mean much more than a kind word.

From the DeJim Owen Tarzana 1 websk of Jim Owen, RN

Tarzana staff since July 1, 1976 Tarzana Chapter President, SEIU Local 121RN

I received a text message last Tuesday that Wendy Kelman, RN, Director of the Women's Resource Center, had been laid off. This upsets me on so many levels.

I have known Wendy and her family since the late ‘70s when I was caring for her father-in-law. She has always been one of the brightest and nicest RNs with whom I have had the pleasure of working. Her positive attitude and outlook always make an issue easier to deal with. She would always greet me with, "Hi Jimmy, how are you?" along with her bright smile.

She continued as a manager in the area she knew and loved instead of changing from department to department or from specialty to specialty just to advance or protect her career. She possesses hands-on knowledge of women's services, for which the staff respect her.

It is rare that a nurse manager is mature enough not to choose sides when employees go out on strike. When Tarzana's nurse managers used our 1998 strike to foster a management vs. staff division, Wendy remained neutral, believing that we are all part of Tarzana and our goals are the same for the patients and staff.

We have seen more managers come and go at Tarzana than most of us can remember. Many of them just go from one hospital to another, department to department, not truly having a positive impact on any aspect of nursing, thinking what failed at one hospital may work at Tarzana. We have had travelers that lasted longer than some managers.

At a time when Providence is telling us repeatedly that customer service is paramount, removing an RN who has more impact on positive patient care and staff development than any other manager just puzzles me. When American Medical International owned Tarzana, actions like this resulted in the decline in patient, physician and staff satisfaction, as well as the Unionization of Tarzana in May 1984.

We are all aware of the constant changes in healthcare and reimbursement, and the need to realign our services. But escorting a positive resource such as Wendy to the exit instead of using her as a true resource, is a great loss

I personally and professionally will miss Wendy Kelman. On behalf of SEIU 121RN members, Goodbye Wendy; you will be missed.

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