Today’s CBA Negotiations

Today’s CBA Negotiations

As you know, we met with the NNOC/NNU today, September 5, 2019, and will be back at the table tomorrow. Our bargaining team remains focused on achieving a new contract for you.

Here are the facts of what each side proposed today and the responses:

NNOC/NNU Proposals UCMC Proposals

NNOC Partial Proposal re Newly Represented Employees:  NNOC/NNU made a package proposal that both sides agree to apply certain portions of the expired contract to newly represented nurses once ratified (for example, requirements that newly represented nurses join the union and pay dues, that the grievance and arbitration process apply, that the management rights clause apply, and that disciplinary language apply, among others).

UCMC Response:  UCMC agreed it would be good to resolve these issues and that it appeared that most would not raise concerns. UCMC asked for NNOC/NNU’s proposal on seniority for newly represented nurses before we make a decision on agreeing to the proposal because of the possible relationship of seniority to some of these proposals. NNOC/NNU is still working on that seniority proposal.

UCMC Proposal re Workplace Safety:  UCMC made a modified proposal on workplace safety and health that will maintain and strengthen our safety committee structure and add an additional layer of review of health and safety rules by the NPPCC.

NNOC Response:  NNOC/NNU agreed to this proposal, which resolves the process portion of these issues. Both parties reserved their right to make proposals regarding whether additional benefits are needed for a nurse who is injured beyond the 80 hours of sick leave, disability pay, and worker’s compensation benefits already available to nurses.

UCMC Economic Proposal: UCMC made a new comprehensive economic proposal on wages and benefits:

  • UCMC attempted to narrow the issues.
  • UCMC offered to continue daily overtime and the payment of overtime on non-productive time.
  • In return, UCMC asked NNOC/NNU to withdraw union proposals to dramatically increase night shift, weekend, on call and other differentials and union proposals to freeze benefit plan designs. These would leave existing differentials and contract language in place as well.
  • UCMC proposed to slow down and limit any increases in medical plan premiums, with no changes to medical premiums before July 2020.
  • UCMC provided market data showing that its benefits proposals align with what other hospitals are offering to employees.
  • UCMC proposed to limit any spousal surcharge to $100 per month, which would not apply to spouses who work at UCMC and would not apply to spouses who do not already have medical coverage at their own jobs.
  • UCMC again stated it was open to increasing its wage offer (currently 1.5% per year) if progress could be made on other economic issues.

NNOC/NNU Response:  The Union needed more time to review the proposal, which UCMC made late in the afternoon.  We hope for a response tomorrow.

UCMC Proposal re Patient Care Support Nurses (PCSNs):  UCMC made a new proposal regarding how PCSNs are used under the CBA to ensure they are helping nurses on units within their specialty on all aspects of nursing and patient care, including meal and rest breaks. We agreed with NNOC/NNU’s prior suggestion that we extend PCSN coverage to weekends as well.

NNOC Response:

  • NNOC provided a counter late in the day. It proposed that existing PCSNs not be required to work weekends.
  • NNOC instead countered with a proposal to create new “weekend” PCSN position and pay nurses who fill them a $10/hour premium, including Fridays and Mondays that these nurses work.
  • NNOC proposed that current PCSN’s be exempted from weekend work permanently.

UCMC continues to focus on a reasonable contract for nurses, the Medical Center and the patients we are all here to serve. Late in the session, we offered additional bargaining dates on September 30, October 1, October 8-9, and October 15-16, if some or all of those dates are needed.

Negotiations are a give-and-take process, not a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. We remain hopeful that if both sides focus on negotiating, rather than the Union’s call to strike, an NNOC/NNU strike can still be avoided in the best interest of patients, nurses and the community.