PEDS BARGAINING UPDATE
Friday, March 2, Sunrise Hospital notified the Union of its intent to merge Peds Oncology into Peds. In response, the Union submitted to the Hospital its demand to bargain the impacts of this change. In discussions with Union representatives prior to bargaining, SEIU nurses expressed a number of concerns about this proposed change. Nurses had concerns about Patient Safety, Staffing, Pay Rates, Proper Training, and Certifications. Many of these issues were raised at our first impact bargaining session on Thursday, March 15. In particular, SEIU nurses addressed their concern that 16-hours of ONS training would not be sufficient. Rather, they felt that APON was the best training.
We also addressed Patient Safety concerns regarding the placement and proximity of dirty and clean patients. The Union raised concern that Peds nurses have regularly been performing IMC and ICU level of care though management took no official position on Wage Rates at the bargaining table. At informal meetings, Peds Oncology nurses were told their pay rates would be cut from a U18 to a U16. Meanwhile, Peds nurses were told their pay rates would remain at a U16 despite taking on a certification and duties that have historically been paid at a U18 rate. Management explained the merger was driven by the low census levels in Oncology and that this merger would be consistent with Hospitals on national and local levels. Items still to be addressed at upcoming bargaining sessions include: Impact on the Float Chart, Ratios, Staffing, and Acuity, Wage Rates, and Call offs.
MEDICAL RECORDS BARGAINING: CODERS, CLERKS, TECHS
The Medical Records department is currently subject to a transition to an electronic program that is impacting 41 bargaining unit employees. There are two separate bargaining tables for two groups of employees, because the impact is different for two groups of job classifications.
The Hospital contends that the 13 affected Coders are being ‘relocated’ to another company as a result of an Article 61 ‘Shared Services’ initiative and will be offered their current rate of pay and will carry over their PTO and EIB. The Hospital’s position is that these employees are not being laid off and therefore should not be afforded their Article 15 rights to Severance, Bumping, and Recall. The Union disputes the Hospital’s interpretation of Article 61 and is taking the position that their Article 15 rights are still In-tact.
With regards to the Clerks and Techs, the Hospital has enacted a Reduction in Force (RIF) with half of the group being separated Monday, May 21 and the other half to be separated upon completion of the departmental transition, perhaps by the end of this year. While the Union has raised issue with the depth of the initial reduction, the real issue is whether there should be a RIF at all. Unfortunately the situation looks entirely too much like subcontracting, so the Union has filed an Article 44 grievance to contest the issue. Our contract prohibits subcontracting our work. Stay tuned as we continue the fight to uphold the contract for our co-workers in Medical Records.
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