Mercy Service and Support Negotiations Update: 4.16.21

 

Mercy nurses are facing dire conditions as our hospital faces a new surge of COVD-19 which resulted in over 100 patients in the emergency room last week . We feel overwhelmed by the number of patients we need to serve and are worried about our safety and the safety of our patients. If things couldn’t get any worse, Mercy management continues to undermine and disrespect us through their proposals and actions. In the time we need to be supported the most, we continue to be attacked by our employer. During these difficult times, it’s important we hold together and stand strong as a union. 

Mercy hires notorious union-buster Doug Seaton for negotiations with nurses

Mercy has spared no time upping it’s anti-union arsenal, starting with bringing in notorious union-buster Doug Seaton. Seaton refers to himself as a “lawyer for employers,” and in 2017, the Trump administration considered appointing him to the National Labor Review Board, making him more than likely the first union avoidance consultant ever in the running for a spot on the board. 

Seaton was eventually passed up for the spot for his extreme anti-union views. Seaton has worked on several union-busting campaigns against nurses’ unions in the last few years, including one against 27,000 home health-aid workers in Minnesota, which is often described as the largest union decertification campaign in US history. 

Mercy continues to ignore SEIU proposals, pushes to hire more temporary workers

Mercy has not responded to SEIU’s first set of non-economic proposals, but they have spared little time drafting two packets of their own proposals. This “my way or the highway” mentality suggests we are gearing up for a real fight. 

Mercy has repeatedly harped on two issues that were mentioned in the previous update: Reclassifying workers under 40 hours to part-time, and hiring more temporary workers to fill staffing needs. Many of you will remember that this proposal comes conveniently after Mercy pushed SEIU to accept 12-hour shifts under stress and duress during the previous COVID emergency. Workers who are now serving 36 hours a week would no longer be full-time under this proposal. Additionally, Mercy has pushed for unlimited supervisor positions, further attempting to limit the strength of the union. 

Finally, we wanted to address the topic of gift cards as incentives. While we are generally supportive of all incentives, we want to remind workers that gift cards over $25 are taxable, and those taxes inevitably come out of our paychecks. We will continue to push for incentives that don’t negatively impact earnings that may catch workers off guard on payday. 

Are you experiencing unsafe working conditions? Please contact your worker safety hotlines and report them!

 

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