Pre-Bargaining Update: Setting the Record Straight

Pre-Bargaining Update: Setting the Record Straight

Since bargaining began in March, we have made transparency a top priority to ensure that you have all the facts. Just as we respect your abilities as clinicians, we also trust in your ability to arrive at your own conclusions when presented with all the facts.

To that end, I can’t sit idly by in the face of an increasing campaign of misinformation from the NNOC/NNU and not respond. You need to know the facts:

  • Bargaining sessions: The NNU leadership has told you that UCMC has been unwilling to add additional sessions. This is false. For months, we have been asking for more days at the table. Even last week, we told the NNOC/NNU that we would welcome new dates before the strike. We had one ask: that the Union representatives come prepared to negotiate and with compromise proposals that might bring us closer together.  The Union declined.  We are looking for ideas to bridge the gaps and to place your interests ahead of the union’s national agenda, not more rhetoric.
  • Staffing: The NNOC/NNU continues to say that this latest strike, like the one in September, is about staffing. We heard the same claims in 2015 when the Union issued a strike notice. You need to know that we had an agreement in principle before the last strike on staffing. The NNOC/NNU said that the measures that both sides had worked on, such as offers to add unassigned and reduced assignment charge nurses and dozens of new positions needed to make that happen formed the basis of an agreement. We listened to your needs.  The Union called a strike regardless and blamed it on staffing.
  • Pay Cuts: Let me be clear: UCMC has never proposed cuts to your pay rates.  Every nurse’s wages will grow in every year of the contract under every proposal UCMC has made.  Any information from the Union to the contrary is We have excellent nurses and your compensation under our offers has always ensured that you remain among the very best paid nurses in the City.  We have never proposed any form of wage cut.

I know it’s painful and emotionally draining for many of you to see us go on ED and Trauma diversion, to move our sickest and smallest patients to the care of others, and generally to withdraw our crucial services from our community because of the strike. But we have a responsibility to ensure we can safely care for the patients we have.

I have heard from many of you that you don’t want a strike and that you want both sides to reach a fair contract at the table. But some of these same nurses have said they feel bullied by those who prefer a strike.

As we reach the final days before a second strike, all of you should have the courage to make your voice heard. That includes those who prefer compromise to strikes. Every nurse has the right to advocate for their patients and what they feel is right.  Your union representatives, nurses who work with us, must hear from all of you.

As a reminder, the UCMC nurses on your union bargaining team are:

Kathy Mc Daniel – PICU Terri Collins –NICU Talisa Hardin – BURN
Brigitt Manson- Comer 5 Helen Bernard –MICU Grazyna Cohen – 9 East
Pamela Valentine – CCD PACU Cincerlyn Lewis – 4 Central Johnny Webb Jr – GI Cert
Elaine Mister – Case Management Lisa Sandoval – Transplant  


I am hopeful these next two days of negotiations will be just that, negotiations. But regretfully, because of the Union’s choice, we must continue to prepare for next week’s strike unless and until a contract is reached.