Kindred Bay Area: News and Views — July 2014

July 10th, 2014

Committee will take on staffing issues — representatives needed!

As everyone knows, we’ve got some staffing issues in San Leandro, especially CNAs. After an initial meeting with management in May, we tried repeatedly to get a follow-up session so that CNAs could come and tell their own stories about how the current staffing ratios are affecting them.

In our last negotiations both sides agreed to create a Labor Management Communications Committee “to discuss and attempt to resolve any job-related issues, including those related to job security, workload, assignments, patient care, safety, infectious disease control and any other work-related issues.”

We finally got agreement with Kindred management to activate the Labor Management Committee, which will allow us to meet during working hours, and to have worker representatives paid for their time in the meeting. Our first meeting is scheduled for Friday, July 25 at 11 a.m., with a follow-up session on August 13, also at 11 a.m. We feel this will make it easier to have a real dialog about the issues and to brainstorm ways that we can work to solve the workload issues. All are welcome to come to all or part of these meetings, during your lunch break or on your own time. But we also want to have two CNAs who will act as representatives for all CNAs and who will be released from work to participate in these discussions.

Are you a CNA who is willing to represent your colleagues in these discussions? Please contact your steward or NUHW Organizer Jan Gilbrecht and let us know.

 

Subcontracting EVS?

In a recent meeting with management over staffing concerns in EVS, James Fox posed a question that had been plaguing him: Is Kindred planning on contracting out EVS? The answer from Stacey Zartler: YES.

At this moment, the details on who, when, and where are less than clear. But management agreed that they will follow the language in our contract when it comes to sub-contracting.

Here’s our language:

If the Employer intends to subcontract any work involving the tasks presently performed by employees covered by this Agreement, it shall give 90 days prior written notification to the Union. … The Employer and the Union will meet after notice is provided in an attempt to reach mutual agreement on issues concerning such contracting.  If the parties are unable to reach agreement by the end of the 120 day period, the No Strike, No Lockout provision of this Agreement will be suspended and the Union may serve 10 days written notice of its intent to strike.

Whatever the timeline, our goals as a Union are clear. All current employees must retain their jobs, wages, benefits, and union status, regardless of who the contractor might be.  Stay tuned — as we find out more we will keep everyone up to date.

 

Take a leap — become a steward! NUHW stewards training at Emeryville on Saturday, July 26, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Stewards are the backbone of our union, and our first line of defense in every workplace. Stewards are crucial to making sure that our contract is enforced day to day. They are the transmission belt that keeps communications going smoothly. Being a steward can be fun and challenging, an opportunity to develop leadership skills and advocate for yourself and others.

Right now at Kindred we are lucky to have two excellent stewards, both LVNs, who do a great job for all of us. But we still have openings! Optimally it would be great to have representatives from each job classification, including CNAs, EVS, Dietary and Unit Assistants as well. If you are willing to serve as a steward now or in the future, or just want to find out more about how unions and contracts work, please consider attending this important four-hour training. Questions? Contact Organizer Jan Gilbrecht for more information.

Healthcare workers at Kindred Brea (above) voted in May to organize with NUHW. The election was recently certified by the National Labor Relations Board.

And the bargaing team at Kindred Westminster (below) recently started negotiating their first contract with the employer.

Both facilities are located in Orange County.