On Thursday, January 17th, HPAE met with management for another bargaining session. Despite the fact that no agreements were reached, we were able to have discussions on a few key issues such as on-call, staffing levels, and non-hostile work environments.
HPAE proposed changes to the contract that would prohibit management from using on-call as a way to mandate our members on certain units that are chronically short staffed such as Interventional Radiology, Cardiac Cath Lab and Operating Room. Often times, these units will schedule the on-call shifts for the month resulting in the on-call nurse being forced to work their full shift as well as their call shift in the event someone calls out, which happens daily. Management acknowledged our concerns and we were able to make real progress in resolving this issue.
In addition, HPAE had heated discussions related to our proposal to add language into the contract that would guarantee that every member is entitled to work in a non-hostile environment as well as deserves to be treated with respect by their managers. The Hospital had a hard time acknowledging that some managers foster a culture of intimidation and retaliation on their units with impunity. Unfortunately, management maintained their existing process was effective while trying to use a false equivalence of member to member complaints as well as members that intimidate management as valid reasons to disregard our concerns. HPAE has always assisted members that have concerns with their fellow members however we also reminded management that they always have the ability to discipline a member that is disrespectful or insubordinate, unlike our members.
Lastly, we had a discussion related to staffing levels for Med/Surg units as well as for Care Coordination. Management advised they will have a counter proposal on staffing at a later session however they proposed to move PACU to the Critical Care float district, which poses many concerns for our negotiation committee members. The next bargaining session is scheduled for Friday, February 15 however if you would like more information, please feel free to contact your local union rep as well as make an effort to attend the following membership meeting:
Wednesday, February 13th
University Hospital Conference Room on H-level 342
HPAE Local 5089 Negotiation Committee
Cynthia McDougall, Wendy Bobcombe, Cynthia Baez-Lugo, Banita Herndon, Miguel Suazo, Wanda Caudle, Dorene Dougan