We made progress in negotiations today as our committee made counter proposals on safety and security language, use of a per diem pool to ensure proper coverage for absences and call-outs, and we narrowed our differences over attendance and call out policies. We further revised wage proposals with fair starting rates and raises over a three-year contract that once again demonstrated our willingness to work toward a contract settlement. Management is considering the new proposal and we’ll continue making attempts to reach agreements through the week through proposals exchanges which will include more face to face sessions on Thursday and Friday, June 8th and 9th.
But while we’ve made progress, management still refuses to budge on the issues that are vital for our ability to provide the best care possible for our patients and address the countless unfair labor practices and our staffing needs. Nothing to address our staffing crisis, no security guards, and nothing to attract and retain good employees through adequate wages or other benefits like holiday pay. Their only response is ‘take our deal and maybe we’ll let you back to work.’
We believe in our mission. We know that with the proper support and resources, we can change people’s lives. For years we have touched people’s lives in spite of disrespect, poverty wages, insufficient resources, and substandard benefits and working conditions, all of which have worsened since AAC took over. All of us are professionals that care deeply about our patients and simply put, we will not be bullied anymore. Management is losing millions by temporarily closing Sunrise House and AAC faces the prospect of losing ALL union and many additional referrals in all AAC facilities across the country. The national press is interviewing us to put a spotlight on AAC practices. We won’t give up now.
AAC’s ultimatum is a predictable to attempt to frighten us. We are confident that the NLRB will rule in our favor on numerous unfair labor practice charges, if it does, we would be entitled to compensation for lost wages. In the meantime, HPAE will continue to provide financial assistance. We will be getting our supplemental checks from the union this week. They are also working on a plan to continue some level of financial support. Some of us will have more immediate financial needs than others. We will be setting up a mechanism for you to confidentially discuss your needs with our Secretary/Treasurer. In the meantime, we fight for what is fair, for what we deserve, and for what our patients deserve.