Keck/Norris bargaining update #3 (March 15, 2021)

Published Monday, March 15, 2021

Dear NUHW members,

Today in negotiations we reached several agreements on different articles and also were presented some unacceptable proposals from the company that they also have to the Nurses earlier.

Representing our union was: Ericka Contreras (bio-med), Nichole Ambriz (surgery), Doug Kauffman (Social Services), Brian Dodero (RT), Joyce Noguera, Erik Santifer (food and nutrition services), Natalie Couch (imaging), Mark Delgado (Surgery), Dan Olivares (anesthesia), Ray Medina (imaging), Noemi Aguirre (RT), James Ayers (RT), Claudia Hidalgo (GI), Patricia Barahona (5N).

The employer is willing to agree on seven articles: employee status, union non-discrimination, committees for quality care and working environment, successorship, notices to the parties, savings clause, employment and income security and bargaining unit work.

We had extensive discussion on our proposals around stewards rights, union access, layoff protections, seniority, job vacancies, our grievance procedure, discipline and vacation scheduling. We made some headway on these items but are still lacking agreement on all the contours of the language.

Despite this progress, the employer proposed three glaring items that are unacceptable and frankly insulting:

Subcontracting: This is very dangerous. Right now the employer cannot subcontract our work to an outside organization – this is a very important job protection. Today they proposed that at any time, management has the ability to subcontract our work.

No pandemic preparedness and Hazard Pay: We presented a detailed proposal to protect ourselves and our patients during this and any future pandemic. We also proposed fair hazard pay to compensate us as essential employees who may come to work in future pandemic

conditions. Not only did they not respond, they find it completely “inappropriate” that we propose employee protections and additional Compensation

No picketing or leafleting: In the past we have voted to stage informational pickets, and leafletted the community to protest egregious moves by the hospital. And these actions work to change the behavior of the hospital — that is why they want to strip this right of ours.

These issues are fundamental to our union and our ability to maintain our job security and the safety of ourselves and our patients. Management’s positions on these items are not surprising as they have proposed similar curtailment of rights to our sisters and brothers in the CNA (nurse’s union). We will continue our negotiations on March 29.

As always, we will strive to improve our working conditions and we remain committed to fighting for the things that our members have expressed in their bargaining surveys.

It will be a fight to achieve our goals!

We should remain strong and prepared to picket and potentially strike if we must.

Stay ready and stay tuned!

In solidarity,
Audra Goedemans
IOM Tech, Keck Hospital