Bargaining started on Monday, September 18th, as we continued to negotiate over what kind of access our members have to bargaining sessions. We believe that we should create the most transparency, while management has tried to limit access by employing a “sign in” system.
Once we got into the issues, management countered many of our proposals, such as one that would ensure union access to work spaces and allow stewards to be paid for their representational time (which would cost PeaceHealth less than $400 a year). They also countered proposals on veteran and disability status and union membership updates, but they also expressed some agreement with pieces of the proposal.
Both the union and management proposed competing successorship language, which would determine whether or not the union agreements would be honored if PeaceHealth was sold to another entity. We offered a new language to update our MOU language around per diem pay, which would offer $480 for a twelve hour shift and comparable rates for shifts with fewer hours. We also asked for an increase to the LMC meeting time, to increase the size of the Health Benefits Committee, and added a staffing committee to match the demands of the new staffing law we won earlier this year. We countered management's Article 14 proposal, to increase the max accrual of PTO that is allowed to employees and to ensure that union leaves and leaves of absence do not take PTO. We also demanded transparency on PTO requests and for equitable placement. Management wanted to alter our Just Cause previsions, such as disciplining a member if they find past wrongdoing far into the future.
What we did reach a Tentative Agreement (TA) on was to extend the Grievance timeline, helping for effective steward investigations and representation.
The next day, Tuesday, September 19th, we were back in negotiations and working on finishing our counter-proposal on Article 10, which included numerous changes such as adding call-back language, removing pyramiding and duplication from section 10.3, eliminating non-payment for back days, providing a predictive PTO template for FTEs, doubling the Report Pay notice time, increasing On-Call/Standby Call Back pay, and several other additions. We proposed a three year contract period for this Collective Bargaining Agreement and added lost time language for illnesses like those experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic (to be paid by the employer).
Management, for their part, countered our Article 15 proposals, saying a flat "no" to our proposal to increase PTO accrual. They did agree to moving PTO donations to the Negotiating Committee and they will not include travelers or unfilled positions for the PTO slots that are available (but they refuse to increase PTO slots). PeaceHealth seems to believe that they own their staff seven days a week. Management is asking for PTO requests to be submitted one day at a time and they are pushing back on calls for transparency on how these slots are filled. They have also refused to give us back the COVID PTO bank balance, showing their unwillingness to acknowledge that COVID remains a relevant threat to healthcare workers. This highlights the continued inequality in how Techs are treated.
Make sure to continue wearing red at our upcoming bargaining dates and try to attend if you can. We will now be sharing information about what a strike could look like if we were forced to by management’s disrespect. You can find out more at our Strike FAQ on the website (and in a pamphlet we will be distributing).
Our upcoming bargaining dates:
9/27/23 at Riverbend - room 200CD- 0900-1700
10/2/23 at Riverbend - room 200BE- 0900-1700
10/4/23 location tbd
10/13/23 location tbd
10/20/23 location tbd
10/25/23 location tbd
August 21st Bargaining Update
We had been scheduled to bargain on Monday, August 21st, but management’s bargaining team had an emergency and we were forced to reschedule. So our next bargaining session will be on August 30th at Riverbend 200ALL from 10am - 5pm.
We are still trying to grow our Contract Action Team (CAT), which is the network that gets all of our members plugged into bargaining, so we need more of our bargaining unit members to get involved as members of the CAT. When you join the CAT you have an opportunity to make a real impact, strengthen our union’s position, and help shape the future of our workplace.
If you’re interested in getting involved with the CAT, reach out to our Internal Organizer, Leslie McKenna (lmckenna@ofnhp) or CAT leader Jill Dougall (email@example.com).
We need all members of the unit to keep wearing red on our bargaining dates, and we have set several through next month.
Upcoming Bargaining sessions:
8/30/23: 10-5 pm Riverbend 200ALL
9/6/23: 10-5pm location TBD
9/13/23: 10-5 pm location TBD
9/18/23: 10-5 pm location TBD
August 16th Bargaining Update
Yesterday, our bargaining team met with management for the second time. This was supposed to be our third bargaining session, but management had canceled our last one. The Bargaining team opened with impact statements that emphasized the importance of our work. We are Essential, Effective, and Equally essential in delivery of healthcare just as much as RN’s. We should be treated equally.
Ground rules were proposed, and we had mutual agreement on most of them. What management disagreed with our union about was whether or not “open bargaining” is to be allowed, which means whether or not members of our union can observe. PeaceHealth management wants to limit the number of observers present and require sign-up sheets. OFNHP pointed out the immediate disparity of treatment to that of ONA, whose RNs were allowed to observe bargaining.
The medical center was likewise unable to coordinate subsequent dates for bargaining within their own team, leaving us with only a couple of dates set.
This means we should brace for a prolonged and challenging negotiation journey ahead. The way that we can stay strong and wind is by standing together, united in our efforts to achieve fair terms and recognition. Our next bargaining session is on August 21st, followed by August 26th, and we are asking that our members wear union stickers on both of those days as are available. This is a great way to show management that we are united and that we will do what it takes to win a fair contract.
August 4th Bargaining Update
Yesterday, August 3rd, we met management at the table for our first bargaining session. This is the start of the campaign to win our next union contract, which will determine our wages, benefits, and working conditions for several years to come.
This first session was built around establishing ground rules and setting up tentative bargaining days over the next month. Our Bargaining Team, which includes members from across our unit, proposed ground rules in writing.
In this session it was established that these upcoming bargaining sessions would be open to PeaceHealth employees in our Bargaining Unit, and members of our unit could be invited to speak about the issues being negotiated even if they were not on the Bargaining Team. This means that we will have opportunities to raise your voices during this process and to ensure that management knows that we represent all of the Techs.
We established the dates for August and will still have to parse out the bargaining dates for September. Our Bargaining Team proposed dates for September, but PeaceHealth leadership was unable to confirm if they would work or not. Our bargaining dates for August include:
- August 16th
- August 21st
- August 30th
Now our campaign begins! We will have multiple actions that you can get involved in as this campaign progresses, but the first is what we call a “Red Up!” All this means is that all of the Techs will be wearing red, our union’s color, on the date of the next bargaining session. That means wear your union colors on August 9th since that was originally supposed to be a bargaining date until management canceled. We will use this action send a message to management that we are united in our demands for better pay, benefits, and working conditions!
We will keep you updated as our campaign progresses and make sure to check in with your Contract Action Team (CAT) leader, who will be your point of contact to get the latest news from the table. The only way we can expect to win a great contract is if all of us are able to get involved and to pressure management to agree to common sense proposals. When we are united we are more powerful than when we’re alone!