Bargaining Update #21

Dear Nursing Colleagues,

I had the opportunity to spend today at the bargaining table with the UCMC and NNU Bargaining Teams, where we met four different times and reached a number of agreements on important items that are outlined below.

Let me start by saying: we had very productive conversations today, and I feel incredibly positive about both teams’ ability to voice their concerns and desires for our future collective bargaining agreement. This is momentum that must continue in the days ahead.

Today, the bargaining teams reached multiple Tentative Agreements on: 

  1. Transition to Payment for Future Comp Time for Salaried Nurses (not including UCAN flight nurses) 
    • Salaried nurses will receive extra straight-time pay in lieu of comp time. This time will be tracked based on cumulative hours worked over a two-week schedule. Nurses will be able to use their existing banked comp time for the life of the new CBA and can used this accrued time for approved vacation, sick and medical leave.
  2. Evening and Night Differentials
    • Maintained the current $3.75/hour and $5/hour differentials respectively
  3. Time and Attendance
    • Nurses will receive a 5-minute grace period for clocking-in, which is the current practice
  4. Workplace Violence Prevention
    • UCMC will pay nurses for up to 3 days off if they are injured due to a workplace violence incident or if there’s a credible threat to a nurse’s physical safety. This payment bridges the 3-day waiting period before workers’ compensation applies, if applicable. In addition, NNU will be able to appoint members to the Workplace Violence Prevention Committee and be able to receive NNU nurses’ workplace violence event reports submitted through the hospital’s Event Reporting System.
  5. Union Meeting Facilities
    • UCMC is returning the first floor CCD conference room to the NNU to provide a conveniently located space for membership and other union meetings.
  6. Transfer Language 
    • Nurses in most areas will be allowed to transfer to new roles after 6 months in their current positions (9 months in perioperative and procedural areas; 12 months for new hires)
  7. Labor and Delivery Scrub Team
    •  UCMC will build a specific scrub nurse team in Labor and Delivery where nurses will be paid $2/hour for all scrub shifts worked. This team will receive paid scrub nurse training through AORN Perioperative 101, the program specifically requested by the NNU.

We also made headway on discussions related to our proposed in-network tuition program, our CRNA tuition program, the make-up of the UCMC Nursing Acuity Committee, parking, and the perioperative services’ weekend program. The biggest change on the table to the in-network tuition program is an expanded UCMC proposal that adds all accredited Chamberlain University College of Nursing programs to the network of schools that have 100% tuition reimbursement.

Despite today’s outstanding progress, I am a bit concerned that we only have three more scheduled bargaining dates ahead of us: February 22, March 4 and March 12. We must have the ability for both teams to meet to make progress at the table toward a contract. UCMC’s team has shared additional dates through February and March with the NNU in hopes of agreeing on more dates to continue making progress toward this agreement.

The UCMC bargaining team and I look forward to discussing our progress, proposals, and tentative agreements reached so far during our upcoming Nursing Town Halls on Monday, February 19th at 4pm and Tuesday, February 20th at 8am via Zoom.

Finally, as you know, the NNU has scheduled a strike authorization vote for Tuesday, February 20th. While this is a procedural step, I continue to be hopeful that we can reach and ratify a contractual agreement between both parties without moving toward a strike. But progress toward a contract can only happen at the bargaining table . No one wins in a strike, and it remains our hope to avoid one through good-faith negotiations at the bargaining table and maintaining the incredibly positive momentum, like what we’ve seen today.

Emily Chase, PhD, RN, NE-BC, FACHE
Senior Vice-President, Patient Care Services, Chief Nursing Officer