I wanted to take some time to provide you with an update about National Bargaining. I ask that you take the time to read through the update. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to either me or one of your stewards. We will also be debriefing the CAT team so that they may help answer questions and disperse the following information.
As of this writing, we are still in negotiations with the company. We are down to the brass tacks as far as bargaining is concerned with the three major items still being Health insurance, compensation and Staffing/Scheduling.
Staffing and Scheduling:
We continue to fight with the company over safe staffing and scheduling policies. We have taken a lot of time expressing to them how bad staffing and donor flow is at mobiles, fixed sites and integrated sites. They continue to push back and suggest kicking the can down the road in the form of committees. They remain defiant in our suggestion of expanding the late end premium pay ie offering this premium to fixed and integrated sites. They insist that they can not take on that additional cost to operations, even though we all know it is a cost they can control and will never have to pay if they were to run their operations correctly and honor our member’s work-life balance.
As of right now there has not been much of a change since my last update to all of you. This item has boiled down to the company insisting we enter into their health insurance with the Coalition holding firm that we want coverage that is as good or comparable to our existing healthcare. Expectations that the company plan does not meet. It is our understanding that a letter went out to members that had the company expressing faux concern about their employees. This letter was drafted and sent prior to the Coalition passing our Healthcare proposal across the table. At this time a group of insurance experts from several of the Internationals are doing a comprehensive comparison, this is extensive and is going to take some time due to the sheer amount of information they have to pour through. We expect to be able to resume bargaining this topic in June.
At this time both sides have put forward their own compensation proposals and neither side have offered a counter.
With that said, we have signed an additional extension through the month of June 2022. This is purely to maintain healthcare coverage for the membership. The reasoning for this is if we, for any reason, do not have an agreement in place, i.e. a TA or an extension, we will be removed from TeamCare permanently. Click here for a photo of the extension here which can also be found on our local’s website.
At this time the AFL-CIO has also become invested in the negotiations between the Coalition and our employer. They are offering various resources to us in addition to coordinating resources from all of the Internationals. Each International’s President has expressed their commitment to all of us during this time and has put pressure on Gail McGovern and various politicians to help get this contract done.
I want to end the update with this: We are near the end of negotiations. What we have left is, and this can not be understated enough, important to our membership. We are at war with the company for fair wages, safe working conditions and healthcare coverage that we deserve. We all came to work EVERY DAY during the ongoing pandemic. We put our lives on the line to ensure that people in need had the blood products they needed to stay alive. As you can see via previous posts, the Coalition’s campaign committee is picking up speed and hitting the company where it hurts: the public eye. I ask in the coming weeks that when the call is put out for membership actions that you all take part and encourage your fellow Brothers and Sisters to do so as well. I ask that you fill out the staffing survey if you have not done so already. Please fill out the form to send the CEOs of our employer emails demanding they enter fair negotiations with the Coalition. I also ask that you share the link to this form on your social media accounts and encourage family and friends to do so as well. (Gail received 700 emails in one day and the fact we heard about it at the bargaining table means it ruffled her feathers.) I also ask that you share the media articles, videos etc. so that the public can see. Wear your pins, put those signs on your car and show our employer that we are serious!
We are asking that you please take pictures of yourselves holding the signs that I uploaded to the pages a while back or a sign that says “Hands off our Healthcare” or #RecrossHeroes. Please send those pictures to me, Judy or Marcus.
I want to thank all of you for your efforts now and your commitment for these next few weeks. A Union is only as strong as its members so let’s send National a reminder of how strong HPAE local 5103 is!
Always In Solidarity,
Co-President HPAE Local 5103