On September 26th, our HPAE Local 5089 Negotiating Committee met with University Hospital management for another bargaining session. The focus was almost entirely on compensation and procedures for when the Hospital declares an emergency due to inclement weather or catastrophic events.
Management continues to insist that this issue be resolved before a final agreement can be reached. Our team has been making our best effort to fix the more onerous parts of their proposal. Specifically, they backed away from their proposal to outright discipline staff for calling out and clarified some times when benefit time may be used. We also are establishing a contractual right to meals and reasonable accommodations for those that volunteer to sleep at the facility.
The last time inclement weather was declared at the Hospital was during Hurricane Sandy, however it had not been declared during any recent snow storms. The expectation now is that the policy can be enacted more frequently to cover some of those storms and employees who come to work could benefit.
There was also some discussion as to settling an outstanding arbitration from 2012 filed by HPAE related to step increases for Staff Nurses on Scale B. Unfortunately, no agreement was reached yet. In addition, we encourage every Staff Nurse to confirm your accrued years of experience and report any discrepancies as we near the end of these negotiations. Management has still not formally countered to our last wage proposal for any nursing titles.
We are scheduled to return to the bargaining table on Friday, September 30th and will provide more information as it becomes available.