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Union Grievance Update

November 6, 2013

We are in the midst of preparing the final contract for publication. Draft contracts are in each unit. If you have a question or can’t find a copy of the draft contract, talk to a steward or a bargaining team member.

2013 December Bonus

FT, PT and Per Diem employees who did not receive an increase or a step increase in July 2013 shall receive a .5% bonus for the pay period of Dec. 1 to Dec. 14. FT or PT Employees who did not receive a step increase of at least .5% in July 2013 shall receive a lump sum bonus of up to .5%. Employees who changed Clinical Ladder level or received a specialty pay differential (Professional employees) or who found mistakes in their paychecks may be eligible for the bonus. For FT and PT employees, the bonus depends on your scheduled FTE status. Per diem bonuses will be calculated based on actual hours worked in the 26 pay periods preceding ratification.

Bonuses are taxed at a higher rate so employees may want to divert a portion of their bonus to 403 (b) or 457 (b) retirement accounts consistent with existing legal and procedural requirements. To change your contributions, you must either go to or call the retirement office by noon on Wed., Dec. 11 at (866) 776-8727. To change your contribution amounts back to your regular percentages the following pay period, you must call the Retirement office between Dec. 16 and noon, Dec. 24.

Call-off / Flexing Notice

In September and October, several Peds and PICU RNs were called off after having worked 8 hours or were told they would be called off early in the shift but had work to do so they could not leave the hospital by 3 p.m. This is a contract violation and Unit Representatives Angie Jimenez and Rosie Suarez notified our Union Rep and Stewards. Our Union is pleased to report that all employees received back pay. If you are a 12-hour employee, talk with a steward if you are called off after working eight hours. You may always volunteer to go home if you wish.

Our contract states:

For Employees called-off before the shift commences, the Employer will attempt to Call-Off/Flex Employees at least two (2) hours prior to the commencement of their scheduled shift.

In no event shall call-off occur except prior to the first four (4) hours of an eight (8) hour shift or the first eight (8) hours of a twelve (12) hour shift. In the event of any call-off during a shift, the Employee will be allowed a reasonable amount of time to complete her/his charting and related duties.

In NICU, PICU and Peds, the Charge RN has not yet been included in the call-off rotation. Relief RNs raised their concerns with Union Stewards and our Union filed a grievance. Our Union and the hospital are currently working on settling this matter.

Our contract states:

Subject to patient care staffing needs, including adequate qualifications of Employees, when it is necessary and unavoidable to call-off an Employee, the Employer shall Call-Off / Flex Employees (by job classification and/or unit) in the following order:

  1. Registry
  2. Employees receiving double time
  3. Extra Shifts at overtime or any overtime
  4. Extra Shifts at Straight time
  5. Volunteers
  6. Travelers
  7. Temporary Employees
  8. Per Diem Employees
  9. Part-Time Employees
  10. Full-Time Employees

SuperFloat Employees shall be called off / flexed consistent with the appropriate category above.

When Relief Charge RNs with required skills are available, Charge RNs will be included in the call off rotation.

Work Schedule and Posting

Congratulations to all employees who have demanded that the hospital schedule them in accordance with the contract and especially to those in the Lab. Chapter President Jim Owen will also meet with the CNO to discuss ongoing problems with shift select.

Our contract states:

1. Employees must submit schedule requests six (6) weeks in advance.

2. FT and PT employees will be given first priority of shifts and placed on the schedule.

3. Once FT and PT employees have been scheduled, per diem employees will be placed on the schedule based on hospital needs, the per diem agreement (Appendix F), their availability, and open shifts available. Per diems may work 24 hours in a work week before such hours are considered extra shifts. The employer shall equitably distribute per diem shifts consistent with patient care and operational needs, and taking into account per diem employees’ availability, desire to work a particular shift and responsiveness.

4. The Employer shall continue its existing scheduling practice(s) on a cost center basis, and incorporating scheduling priorities #2 and # 3 above. Provided such requests are submitted in a timely manner and that they are consistent with departmental or unit needs and the operating requirements of the Hospital, the respective Manager or his/her designee will consider and make a reasonable effort to grant employees' scheduling requests with seniority utilized to resolve any conflicts. (This does not apply to vacation scheduling).

5. The Employer will post work schedules at least four (4) weeks in advance.

6. Once FT, PT and Per diem Employees are scheduled, and the schedule is balanced, requests for Extra Shifts will be accepted, based on Employer needs, by the respective Manager or designee up until the final schedule has been posted. Prior to posting of the final schedule, the Employer shall equitably distribute extra shifts consistent with patient care and operational needs, and taking into account Employees’ availability, desire to work a particular shift and responsiveness.

7. After the final schedule has been posted, extra shifts must be requested through the electronic scheduling system. Extra Shifts must be clearly identified as such on the schedule. For those departments that do not utilize the Nursing Office, extra shift requests go to the Department Manager or designee.

Requesting Time Off

It’s never too early to plan vacation.

Our contract states:

a. Except as set forth below, an Employee may request time off of up to a block of one hundred eight (108) hours or a three (3) week equivalent and such request may be submitted at any time. Such request will be approved or denied in writing within two (2) weeks based on Employer needs, including patient care and operational needs. Requests for periods of time longer than three weeks will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

b. Consideration of requests for time off shall be based on the needs of the unit and be granted on a first-in basis whenever possible.

c. Verbal requests will not be considered as “first-in” or be a basis for approval. An absence approval request form needs to be submitted as the written request for time off.

d. Approval of written requests for time off submitted simultaneously will be determined based on hospital seniority and time already granted.

Clinical Ladder

Several RNs have expressed an interest in climbing the Clinical Ladder. Now is the time to work on accruing activity points since the deadline is May 1. You must get permission from your manager every step of the way. If you would like a copy of the Clinical Ladder, email Union Rep Judith Serlin at

The hospital is supposed to post a list of Clinical Ladder activity opportunities under the “Nursing” tab on the hospital intranet. Our Union has talked with management and encouraged them to set up this list.

To view and/or print complete flyer, click here.