First of all, the solidarity you have shown by wearing the Union buttons has definitely strengthened our position at the bargaining table. It will take a lot more to win a strong contract, but it’s clear based on our session that we took a big steps towards showing the solidarity of our Union.
Because of circumstances outside of anyone’s control, the Hospital had to postpone our bargaining sessions this week. Management proposed a one month extension of our contract, which we rejected. We have always said that we do not want these negotiations to drag out, and while the circumstances surrounding this delay were different than the stalling tactics we’ve seen from management in the past, we insisted that the Hospital appoint a new lead negotiator, which they have done. We will be resuming bargaining next Thursday, June 3rd.
While this does take us past the expiration of the contract, working without a contract changes very little. There’s a short description of the implications of working without a contract at the bottom of this email, but in short, a vast majority of the protections in the contract remain in full force and management is very limited in any changes they can make to our working conditions.
For right now, the most important thing that we can do is to continue to wear our Union buttons and to stay on the lookout for further actions, including social media actions and a potential Informational picket. We are committed to winning a strong contract as quickly as possible, and we know we can do it with you all behind us.
Local 5142 Bargaining Committee
What changes when we continue to work after our contract expires?
Very little. After May 31st:
- The protections of our contract remain in full force, and we continue to have union representation.
- We continue to work and get paid for our scheduled shifts.
- We still have access to our grievance procedure, and we can negotiate resolutions to any violations of our contract in place of arbitration.
- SMC cannot make unilateral changes and must continue to negotiate.
- The ban on a strikes or lockouts are lifted.