We met with the Hospital for another negotiations session, however there was little to no progress made. Management began the session with denials of a need for language prohibiting managers from using mandatory overtime as a staffing tool, citing that they already follow the law. They went on to claim that the need to mandate has been reduced, which was quickly dispelled by members of the negotiation committee. Things only continued to get worse from there, as management continued to present their concessions as a way to help the Hospital increase their minimum wage to $15/hr. Let’s be perfectly clear: HPAE has long been in favor of the fight for a $15/hr minimum wage but we should not be paying for it. Here’s a recap of the horrible concessions that the Hospital has presented:
- Management proposed that any member scheduled to work a weekend shift as part of their regular schedule who calls out for any part of that weekend shift will be forced to make up that weekend shift within 2 work schedules.
- Management proposed to change the time available during a member’s most vulnerable time from 3 work days to 24 hours, which will be a concession for those members who work 12 hour shifts.
- Management proposed that any non-productive work time, such as vacation, education days, holiday time, etc will not count as time worked when calculating overtime.
- Management proposed any member who calls out 24 hours either before or after a holiday will be salary deleted. Furthermore, NJ Earned Sick Leave protections would not apply.
Again, we strongly oppose all of these proposals, as they will have a negative impact on our ability to retain staff, let alone recruit new staff.
More importantly, HPAE recognizes the commitment our members make on a daily basis to their patients and the community as they are swamped with workloads for 3 people yet receive three quarters of the pay for one person. Our members are merely asking for a fair contract with fair wages which they deserve as the backbone of the hospital.
At this point we do not have another session scheduled for negotiations, however we will continue to keep you informed of every detail as they develop. In the meantime, we plan to have virtual membership meetings during the week of December 5th so that we can discuss the status of negotiations in detail; please be on the lookout for announcements.
If you have any questions related to negotiations or are interested in becoming more involved with your local union, please feel free to contact your local union rep using the contact information found at http://5094uhhpae.org or email email@example.com.