NUHW members win nearly three-quarter million in back bonus pay

KaiserJune 22, 2017

NUHW members have won nearly $700,000 in back bonus pay in recent months in settlements with two employers.

In the first settlement, members in our two Southern California Kaiser chapters won $340,000 — $300,000 for the Psych-Social Chapter and $40,000 for the Healthcare Professionals chapter.

After receiving the incentive award payout in March, stewards in both chapters noticed discrepancies in their bonuses. Kaiser made the adjustments after we brought the issue to their attention.

Soon after, our stewards noticed another error: the payout amount was calculated incorrectly for full-time workers. According to the contract, the bonus for full-time workers should be calculated using scheduled hours, not hours worked. Our stewards’ close reading of the contract resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars of back pay for members.

“Kaiser initially prorated the incentive plan payouts for our full time KPC and HPC members because that’s the way incentive plans are handled for its other unions. We pointed out to Kaiser Labor Relations that our contractual language is specifically different and doesn’t allow for that kind of proration,” said Dan Gizzo, NUHW steward and Psychologist from Kaiser San Diego. “Though it was not a quick process, eventually we managed to hold Kaiser accountable to what we bargained and won more than $340,000 in additional payments for our members.”

The second settlement, with Providence St. Joseph, took a more contentious route. Workers at St. Joseph Eureka, Petaluma Valley, and Redwood Memorial hospitals won almost $350,000 in back bonus pay after being excluded from a bonus program simply because they’re union members.

In fall 2016, St. Joseph announced that only non-union employees at these hospitals would receive a bonus that was based on patient satisfaction scores and financial goals. But those patient satisfaction scores are based on the quality care provided by both union and non-union workers.

After management refused our stewards’ demands to bargain over the bonus program, we filed an unfair labor practice charge. The labor board sided with us. But just 72 hours before we were scheduled to go to trial, management accepted a settlement offer authorized by our stewards. Management will now work on providing back pay and our union will schedule bargaining over this program going forward.

“This is a great example of what we can achieve when we stand up for what’s fair. It reminds me why we joined NUHW in the first place,” said Candy Ramos, NUHW steward and EVS / Linen Room Worker at St. Joseph Hospital Eureka.