On Monday, April 5th, we had our latest negotiation session with UH management. Management presented us with a revised “Inclement Weather Policy” which would greatly reduce the amount of pay and/or comp time that workers would get during such an emergency. This led to a very heated discussion of the ‘downward slide’ that our committee believes UH is on. Your committee let management know that the revisions offered to this policy are yet another example of UH trying to save a few bucks at the expense of our members’ safety.
There was also some discussion on management’s proposal that would mandate anyone in a new position receiving training (e.g., EPIC Certification) to continue working for UH for a period of time, or be forced to pay back the costs of the training. Management claims that workers are coming to UH to receive training (again, specifically EPIC) and then using that training to acquire better-paying jobs elsewhere. Our committee was firm in pointing out that most workers don’t leave UH because of the money – they leave because of the lack of respect and consideration for staff, the constant reduction in benefits and the disparate treatment between and among staff by their department directors. We made it very clear that if they want to improve their retention rates in certain departments, the first place they should look to is improving their directors’ behaviors and attitudes towards staff.
Obviously, management was not delighted to hear all of this – but it had to be said. We only hope they take what was said to heart and really make an effort to turn around employee relations at UH. Finalizing a contract with decent wage increases would be a good start, but there is much more to be done.
For more information and discussion, please attend one of our upcoming membership meetings.