We are working toward getting an agreement by 7am on May 31 that includes winning improvements in staffing, health and safety, and accountability for HMH on payroll/PTO/LOA and wages. While nurses are hailed as heroes by the public, HMH is putting forward proposal after proposal that attacks our right to advocate for members and patients.
On Friday, Nancy Gannon and Anna Pona addressed staffing issues, as they are a central topic of negotiations, using both data we get from our monthly Staffing Committee and conversations with management:
“Staffing is a patient safety issue and a recruitment and retention issue. We average about 100 open positions per month at JSUMC. This makes us very reliant on overtime and agency. We’ve had several educator positions open for extended periods of time and NICU has not had a Nurse Manager for 2 years. That is a unit that relies very heavily on OT. The OR is, and has been, relying on Agency usage for years. The amount of money spent on turnover and agency must be astronomical. There is a lack of experienced nurses in critical care areas to help teach novice nurses. When you include overtime by staff, agency use, managers in role and float pool usage we average 278.59 FTE worth of shifts”.
Nancy Gannon, Local 5058
“In your proposal ,you eliminate the current staffing grids. In previous discussions in labor management, we were working toward better staffing guidelines; for instance Med-Surg 5:1; Tele 4:1. I was shocked to see the hospital crossed out grids. You are also proposing “the hospital will assign shifts to available personnel.” This would allow agency nurses to take our work with no bumping rights.”
Anna Pona, Local 5138
Further, HMH wants to eliminate our protections against non-nursing duties. HMH wants us to float on all shifts. HMH wants to remove staffing guidelines, including language for PCT minimums. HMH wants to take away our right to bump agency nurses. The entire country recognizes Nurses’ sacrifices, yet HMH is proposing we work in a state of uncertainty by moving us to any unit at any time and prioritizing temporary nurses over their own staff. Instead of listening to us and our accumulated expertise, they are dictating standards that inhibit quality patient care.
We need to take action now more than ever:
- Take a photo of yourself and coworkers with the HPAE face shields or buttons and post it publicly. The world is on our side to demand PPE, compensation for exposure, and job protection for all staff. What will HMH do when the second wave hits? We need to hold them accountable now.
- Plan to attend the General Membership meeting May 18th at either 8am, 4pm or 8pm. RSVP here to get the conference all information. We will be discussing status of contract negotiations and the Strike Authorization Vote.
- If you have not done so already, we need statements from you to support OSHA charge and your health and safety grievance. Please send to Local5138@HPAE.org. Include all of your contact information and expect a call from OSHA for follow up.
- Stand up for your rights! Now. Always. And forever. Cancellations, bumping, float pay, non-nursing duties, and PPE continue to be a problem. HMH is trying to wear away our rights. Read our contract and notify your manager when they are violating it. Notify your Union rep and we can file a grievance if needed, at email@example.com so we can work together to enforce every protection we have. Many nurses are enforcing their right to bump agency nurses 72 hours in advance, per the contract. Keep. it. up.
- When you get the notice in the mail and/or email to Vote for Strike Authorization, get informed and participate in the vote.