VNA Contract Update – February 7, 2018

JOIN US AT OUR NEXT SESSION: FEBRUARY 12th at 1pm: VNA office 80 Main street, 2nd Fl, Orange, NJ

Your bargaining team invites you to join us at our next session to observe and make your voice heard. DO NOT COME during your working hours. Please join us when your visits and documentation are completed, or if you are on break.

5th Bargaining Session Held February 1st

We met for our fifth bargaining session with VNA last week at the Englewood office.

Management responded to our proposals, and we made some positive progress on issues like per diems receiving hourly pay on weekend days they have no patients assigned, clustering visits geographically, and adding 1 paid holiday for all employees.

However, on some issues, VNA management is proposing radically different things at the two work sites. For instance:

VNA Essex management proposals VNA Englewood Management proposals
Raises No proposal made yet!!! 1.5 % Increases, with merit pay bonuses attached to Medicare Star rating
Staffing workload Change Start of Care to 2.5 points from 2 Change Resumption of Care to 2 points (from 1.5)

*This matches the Union’s proposal

Staffing productivity 30 points per week minimum expectation

*This is current contract language

32 points per week minimum expectation

Our team stands united to make sure we raise and protect standards for all HPAE represented VNA nurses. Management’s proposals that separate and divide do not show us they respect us.

Medicare Audit: Impact on employees

John Chiappinelli (VNA General Counsel) told us that VNA is under audit by CMS, and because of a substantiated patient complaint, had to submit a plan of correction to CMS. VNA is currently awaiting a response.

Despite what Dr. Landers said in his email,
VNA is not in danger of shutting down within 60 days
. If that were to happen, by federal law, employees would have to be issued a “WARN notice” of layoffs. No such notice was sent to employees. In addition to that, if VNA were to lose its Medicare certification, it could appeal the decision. VNA also sees patients through private insurance, so Medicare is not the sole source of income for the agency.

Workload and Productivity expectations

Union committee members communicated to management that the increase in documentation and retraining that is coming from management, combined with VNA’s proposals for nurses to see 7 points per day, are causing anxiety among nurses. They told management that they share the goal of delivering quality care and ensuring patient safety, but with a workload of 7 points per day (35 points per week) this could cause morale to suffer, not to mention an increase in overtime and burnout. A fair contract settlement has to address these issues.

The contract has been extended until February 28th, 2018. All contract provisions and benefits remain in effect.