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USC Bargaining

Keck/Norris bargaining update #1 (March 1, 2021)

Published Monday, March 1, 2021

Good afternoon fellow NUHW members at Keck Hospital and Norris,

Today was our first day of negotiations for our new NUHW contract! I’m Noemi Aguirre, Respiratory Therapist, and a member of our elected Bargaining Committee.

Earlier today we met across the table with Keck management via Zoom and began what we believe will be a difficult negotiations contract campaign.

Present for the employer were: Lisa Joins, Jonathan Warren, Leilani Sarmiento, Tanesha Brooks, Awa Jones, Tammy Murphy, Miguel Gonzalez, George Sarkissian, Brenda Dudley, Christin Shaw, Auggie Mares, J Savoie, and attorneys Adam Abrahms and Brooke Olsen. Adam Abrahms is the company’s chief spokesperson.

Our union was represented by members Alejandra Martinez (Surgery) Brian Dodero (Respiratory), Claudia Hidalgo (GI), Daniel Olivares (Surgery), Ericka Contreras (BioMed), James Ayers (Respiratory), Maria Guevara (GI), Mark Delgado (Surgery), Nicole Ambriz (Surgery), and Noemi Aguirre (Respiratory), as well as NUHW staff Francisco Cendejas, Ian Woolverton, Michael Torres, and Sophia Mendoza.

NUHW presented proposals on the following current contract articles:

  • Article 1: Recognition: Acknowledging Food and Nutrition services, Sleep Center, and Social Services as members of the union.
  • Article 4b: Reduction in force/bumping: Clarifies language during a RIF or layoff that employees will not lose wages for taking a position in a lower paid job class as a result;
  • Article 5: Job Vacancies/posting and bidding: We proposed closing the loop on unfilled positions by requiring the employer to give us notice if they don’t intend to fill it and be responsive to questions about filling the position.
  • Article 6: Non-discrimination/Harrassment: Proposed striking obligation of employee to seek remedy through the OED. OED is an umbrella department under USC, creating another step that union members have to go through to resolve claims of harassment or discrimination.
  • Article 9: Grievance Procedure: Clarification on internal process for notifying arbitrator of selection process.
  • Article 10: Discipline: We proposed ensuring that members who are placed on an unpaid investigatory leave get those days paid back
  • Article 12: Floating: Proposed extending floating language to include non-nursing departments such as EVS and Biomed or engineering or cspd, for example. Makes it voluntary
  • Article 22: Subcontracting: Proposed a ban on subcontracting
  • Proposed resolution of Attendance Policy grievance/arbitration: Aims to fix Kincare and eliminate 96 hour cap. Allows employees to use 50% of PTO towards kincare on a rolling 12 month basis. Restores Attendance policy prior to February 2020 and eliminates disciplines issued under current policy.
    Proposed restoration of Norris Holiday Pay, with strengthened and clarified language in the contract. The company expressed opposition to this immediately, saying that we should not propose economic proposals until later, but we made clear that this was a high priority to our Bargaining Committee.

These articles were discussed with the employer, and we expect to hear some responses at our next session tomorrow, March 2. More news to come.

Reporting live from the trenches,

Noemi Aguirre
Respiratory Therapy
NUHW Bargaining team member