On Thursday, June 18, we had our latest negotiation session with UH management. While we were able to agree on a handful of new tentative agreements (e.g., continuing education, labor management and direct deposit), management still has no economic offer on the table.
In addition, we are still being confronted with a handful of proposals that we consider problematic. First off, management wants to reduce your medical leave time down from six (6) months to the federally mandated twelve (12) weeks. While the committee understands that medical leave can at times place a burden on our co-workers in departments where staffing is at a minimum, we are not convinced that reducing our rights is the answer. Instead we believe management should ensure that no department is so woefully understaffed that medical leaves grind it to a halt.
Secondly, management wants the right to perform criminal background checks on our members, post-initial hiring, at their discretion. This is a massive invasion of our privacy. If management wants to know if an employee was convicted of a crime, then they need to go to the court house and request the records. We are not in a position to give them carte blanche access to anyone’s legal dealings.
Finally, management wants to be able to drug test our members. Again, this is a privacy issue for us. What any of us do in our off time is our own business. If it happens to affect our work, then there are other means to address the issue (e.g., discipline for poor work performance). We relayed this to management, but they did not seem delighted by our suggestions!
While we have no additional dates scheduled, we are told that they are forthcoming. We look forward to continuing the conversations and, hopefully, getting down to financials shortly.