WHHS Labor Facts

Updates on Labor Negotiations from Washington Hospital Healthcare System

CNA Bargaining Update — 12/7/15

Representatives for Washington Hospital and CNA met on Monday for the sixth bargaining session.  

The session began with the Union asking the Hospital for a clarification regarding employees working off the clock.  Hospital representatives conveyed that the policy states that employees should never work off the clock and reminded the Union of a previous agreement to send a joint memorandum to RN’s and managers reminding them of the Time and Attendance policy (the Union has agreed to get back to the Hospital on this joint memorandum).

The parties then discussed what is generally the heart and soul of any negotiations, wages.  The Hospital informed the Union that after some five negotiation meetings, the Hospital still has not received all economic proposals, including wages (the Hospital has brought this same subject to the Union’s attention on several occasions). To further clarify the point, the Union was reminded that during negotiations in 2012, the Union presented all economic proposals on the first day of negotiations.  During Monday’s session, the Hospital advised the Union that it saw no reason why that has not happened during current negotiations (the Hospital also reminded the Union that it needed to see all economic proposals so that it could place a cost on what the Union was requesting so that the Hospital and the Union could prioritize the proposals).

Also during Monday’s bargaining session, the Hospital presented five non-economic proposals and counter proposals in the following areas:
• Article 14, Professional Performance Committee (PPC)– Requirement for minute keeping (this was a fruitful discussion in which the importance of addressing staffing issues at the PPC was discussed);
• Article 11, Leaves of Absence – Clarification regarding non-benefitted nurse eligibility for leave (this discussion talked about the differences between benefits offered to Per Diem RN’s and benefitted RN’s);
• Article 29, Nurse Representatives – Pay for attendance at representational meetings (the Hospital clarified when Nurse Representatives would be paid for attending meetings at the Hospital’s request even though the Hospital really does not have to pay for such attendance);
• Letter of Understanding No. 6, Per Diem RN’s – Reduction of minimum shift requirements and greater flexibility (this would allow Per Diem RN’s greater flexibility in offering availability, particularly during times of high census when retirees are needed); and
The Union presented proposals in the following areas:
• Article 8, On Call and Call Back Pay – Practice Clarification (Discussion regarding RN’s working overtime at the conclusion of their shift in some units. Management has stated it will have senior management attend a bargaining session to discuss this issue); and
• Article 11, Specialty Certification – Increase in reimbursement for certification (the union stated that the specialty certification dollar amounts have not been increased for quite some time and management responded that it will consider that proposal and can better respond once all of the economic proposals have been presented).
The negotiation session was professional and substantive; however, as the Hospital has repeatedly stated, the larger issues of compensation and wages need to be put on the table by the Union so that we may begin the “meat and potato” discussions on compensation issues.
The Hospital has also requested additional bargaining dates and the Union has responded that they will be sending dates in the future.