Local 5103 Member Update, May 4, 2020 - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Local 5103 Member Update, May 4, 2020

I hope this post finds you healthy and well. The following email may be a little long because there is quite a bit of information to cover. I truly do appreciate your attention.

HPAE has secured face shields and is sending them to the Presidents of each individual local, in this case Judy will be receiving them. After we receive them we will be working on distributing them to all of you. The rough draft of our plan will be to set up tables outside of our Emerson and Haddon Heights offices and distributing them there. Dawn will also have a supply at PDC to distribute to staff who can make it there. If you have suggestions as to how to distribute them further I would sincerely appreciate them, please do not hesitate to reach out.

We understand that communication has been spotty lately and we do apologize for that. ARC continues to barrage us with changing work conditions and it seems as if talking points can be archaic the following day. This is not an excuse, simply an acknowledgement that we can do better. We are planning to utilize robo-calls and blast emails to our membership in en effort to keep you updated. We are also planning to host a town hall in lieu of a membership meeting. We would also like to host a conference call involving Charges because of the ongoing issues arriving with Management. As always if you need to contact any of us, please do so. If trying to reach me on one of pages PLEASE tag me in comment so that I can respond faster.

Your LEB continues to hold weekly Labor Management Meetings via conference call. Management continues to stonewall us on every issue we add to our agenda. Many issues have been on our agenda from the beginning and carry over each week. Management continues to state that they are working on the issues but we continue to see over scheduled drives, unsuitable sites and they continue to run drives in hot spots, etc.

As I am sure that you are aware, starting May 1st the ARC has abruptly stopped all special pay provisions. The Coalition raised their concerns during a conference call but were simply told that ARC can not afford to continue the program and thanked the Coalition for their input. Right now the only options available to Members who are placed on quarantine or continue to be under quarantine are to use PTO or take a unpaid leave of absence while ARC “figures things out.”

Our Brothers and Sisters in Pheresis continue to collect convalescent plasma at fixed sites. We have brought to Management’s attention that we continue to see ineligible donors presenting for the program and continue to expose our Membership to unsafe conditions. These include donors presenting without negative test results, still experiencing symptoms, having had symptoms in the last 28 days, etc. After calling out ARC for not following their own guidelines they have assured us that all donors presenting for convalescent plasma will have a confirmation email sent to them. We are going to continue asking that Members pre-screen donors prior to entry to fixed sites, please ask them the pre-screen questions and ask for their confirmation email. If they fail to present their email then send them away.

The Coalition entered Effects Bargaining with ARC over the terms of convalescent plasma. ARC provided just one hour to perform this bargaining. ONE. That is how little ARC respects the health and safety of their employees. The Coalition submitted a list of nine demands in regards to the collection of convalescent plasma. These included hazard pay for all staff, ask for volunteers first, designated centers, isolating beds, PPE and following written policy. They only agreed to one and that is to follow written policy. All other demands were denied.

ARC has been asked to collect convalescent plasma in NNJ. The Union has submitted a demand to bargain over the parameters of this program.

I ask that everyone continue to send me statements in regards to issues they encounter in the field. The amount of statements I have received has slowed down significantly. Unfortunately, we can not address issues unless we are made ware of them in a timely fashion.

I want to thank everyone again for sharing their strength during this time. Your engagement the past few months has truly increased the leverage we have when in discussions with Management. When they see our Membership and their involvement they begin to see who their dealing with.

If you need assistance please do not hesitate to reach out, I will include my contact info at the end of this email. The contact info for the rest of the LEB can be found on the HPAE website as well.

In Solidarity,

Timothy Posser
HPAE Local 5103