USC Bargaining

Keck/Norris bargaining update #2 (March 2, 2021)

Published Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Dear NUHW members:

Today was our second day of negotiations for a new contract for our coworkers at Keck Hospital and Norris Cancer Center. We were represented by: Brian Dodero, Nichole Ambriz, Richard Aguayo, James Ayers, Judy Oliva, Noemi Aguirre, Doug Kauffman, Mark Delgado, Claudia Hidalgo, Audra Goedemans, Jimmy Franco, Raymond Medina, Maria Guevara, Nichole Ambriz, Tran Su, Joyce Noguera, Maria Hyde, Xochilt Olague, Ericka Contreras, and myself, Daniel Olivares.

We have mixed news from today. We identified 6 articles of existing contract language where we can reach a tentative agreement. However, that was overshadowed by several takeaways the employer proposed at the end of our session. The areas of agreement are:

  • Article 3: Employee status: This defines full time, part time and per diem statuses
  • Article 8: Committees for quality care and working environment: This is a staffing committee that meets on paid time to address staffing inequities at work
  • Article 20: Successorship: In the event the hospital(s) are sold to another entity, the new employer will retain the workforce and retain our union contract. Important protection!
  • Article 25: Notices to the parties: Defines the physical addresses that the parties will use for official correspondence
  • Article 26: Savings clause: Clarifies how our contract interacts with state law
  • Article 29: Employment and income security: A commitment by employer to provide a range of services guaranteeing income hours, and a suite of services that will help employees in the event of a layoff
  • Article 30: Bargaining unit work: Supervisors will not do our jobs, and we will not do theirs

With over 20 NUHW member leaders present, the employer had the audacity to propose several takeaways that are unacceptable:

  • Disciplines never leave your file, they can use disciplines older than a year. DRASTIC TAKEAWAY
  • They want union stewards to perform their duties as stewards off the clock
  • Mgmt wants limit the ability of union reps to access the Hospital and use break rooms
  • They want to restructure the reduction in force language which protects employees in the event of a layoff
  • They want to have the ability to lay off specific shifts and departments without respecting seniority
  • Management proposed shortening the timelines for the union to file a grievance
  • If you have a discipline document it prevents you from applying to a job opening

After USC’s attorney presented these takeaways, we sent the company a strong example of our power and strength as a union. A supermajority of all NUHW members have signed a petition authorizing the bargaining committee to call for an informational picket if we need to. We told the Employer that we want to bargain in good faith to address restoring Norris Holidays, compensating employees for working through a pandemic, enhancing safety protections for all NUHW members and fixing the punitive attendance policy. In the past we have had to threaten to strike or go on strike to increase standards for all patients and workers at our hospitals. This negotiation is no different. We will not stand for a reduction in our standards–that is why so many of us are involved.

The petition is a strong statement of our power and solidarity as a union. Our next bargaining session is March 15 over zoom from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In unity and solidarity,

Daniel Olivares
Surgical Tech
Keck Hospital