Since the last blog update on August 17, the Hospital and Local 39 representatives have met three times (Sept. 8, 15, 21). At the Sept. 8 bargaining session, the Hospital’s Negotiating Team put across the table a comprehensive economic proposal for Local 39 represented employees. The Hospital also discussed the union’s proposal to create a new pension plan and provided the Local 39 with information about the legal obstacles that exist which do not permit the formation of a new pension plan. During the bargaining session on Sept. 21, the Hospital informed the union that it was disappointed that the union had failed to provide a counter proposal to the Hospital’s economic proposal. The Hospital and the union also spoke about the fact that the Hospital would be meeting directly with Local 39 members and sharing all proposals that were made by both the Hospital and the union pursuant to the Local 39 negotiations.
The Hospital’s bargaining team met with the members of Local 39 on Sept. 22, and was very surprised to hear that proposals put forth by both the Hospital and the union were never presented to any of the employees represented by Local 39. As a result of the questions that the Hospital received from these employees, Hospital representatives took time to provide Local 39 members with all proposals exchanged between both parties.
To further the disappointment, during the Sept. 22 meeting, Local 39 members conveyed to the Hospital that the union had threatened them with job loss if they did not honor a labor action (i.e. strike) should Local 39 and Washington Hospital not reach agreement on a new MOU before the contract’s expiration date on Sept. 30, 2016.
The Hospital reminded Union representatives in writing that state and federal laws prohibit threats and coercion by either party with respect to strike activity and such action by the union amounts to an unfair labor practice (click here for attachments). The Hospital reaffirmed its commitment to Local 39 represented employees that the Hospital will not take any adverse action towards any employee(s) who do not honor a union sponsored strike.