Day 9 Negotiation Update

We met for our ninth session with management on Monday. We started the day by bringing forward an aggressive comprehensive economic proposal that included topics such as parity for those nurses hired before the last contract went into effect, wages, returning shift differentials to percentages, hiring break nurses, increasing preceptor pay and rotating preceptor duties, moving double-time into the contract, increasing pay for standby, including two earned wellness days as a benefit and creating a fund to assist with childcare.

Unsurprisingly, we were rather disappointed with their response to our proposals. We expressed to them, in frank and bluntly honest terms how important this subject is to everyone. We expressed the sentiments that I have heard time and time again, that so many of you are waiting to see how the wage discussion goes to decide if you will stay here at Central or look for opportunities elsewhere. And we told them that they need to go back to whomever it is that makes these decisions and come back to us with their absolute best wage proposal when we meet again on Monday the 13th if we have any hope of wrapping up negotiations anytime soon.

We also proposed language around job posting that would mandate our nurses be hired before any nurses from outside of CWH and the bargaining unit, while also prioritizing interdepartmental movement over hiring nurses into a unit. That is, if a night person with 3 years on a unit wants a day position on their unit they should be awarded that position before someone without experience on their unit. This discussion is ongoing as admin expressed concern about being able to hire in those more experienced than the nurses already hired to CWH. This is important and we will continue to fight to ensure that who are already hired to CWH take priority.

They declined our previous request to increase the PTO cash out, although they indicated they would agree to a onetime cash out for hours over 240, in recognition of the fact that it has been difficult to take time away during COVID and many nurses have been accruing more time than they can use and have agreed that nurses can request cash outs for every month of the following year, meaning no one will have to wait until the next December to get their money.

We’ll be meeting again on Monday the 13th where we will hope to wrap up negotiations, we need your support more now than ever. Please wear your button for the rest of negotiations, send us a selfie of you wearing it, and keep talking about your union. Remind them that this is about all their nurses and that we stand together. More to come next week!

In Solidarity, your negotiating team: Sara Bergenholtz, Nick Jackson, Lorna Sebastian, Stefanie Gates, Karla Bourgeois, Paul Stamilio, Paul Molenaar, Amy Yarbrough and Blaine Wuertz

Questions? Contact WSNA Nurse Representative Carmen Garrison at cgarrison@wsna.org.