We held our first bargaining session with VNA last Thursday at the West Orange office. The union representatives at the session were Jeane Anthony (Essex), Hussein Cheikhali (Essex), Wislande Fleurrisant (Essex), Trish Managano (Englewood), Tamara Williams-Joseph (Essex), and Mike Slott (HPAE Staff Rep). Management was represented by Mark Parauda, Maria Bast, Sue Trotter, Melissa Garfield, and Christy Corbet.
At the meeting, we presented an initial set of proposals which focused on staffing/case load issues, assignment and scheduling of staff, and increases for wages and education differentials (BSN, MSN).
We will be making additional proposals on health and pension benefits, certification pay, critical need incentive pay, and other issues as we evaluate the information on employee compensation and benefits which VNA has provided us.
VNA did not make any proposals at the first meeting. They indicated, however, that their focus will be on contract modifications which improve “quality” of care.
The second bargaining session is likely to occur in mid-October.