The goal in negotiations is for both sides to exchange proposals in an attempt to find common ground. Neither party will get everything they set out for, but both come away with the understanding it is a fair contract that works for both parties. However, after a 3+ hour conversation with Mercy this week, it seems the only “bargain” Mercy is interested in is the rate at which they compensate and treat their healthcare workers.
The administration finally presented their long-awaited full non-economic proposals and responses. Not surprising in the least, many of their proposals attack our co-workers’ status and our seniority. In fact, the bulk of the administration’s responses were to reject our language/proposals entirely , or to use that section to reference hospital policy (e.g. Section 55.3 – delete and refer to employer policy).
In one example, we discussed mandation and how the administration’s language would only have them give one hour’s notice when managers deem it possible to give that notice; this means people getting mandated 5 minutes before they’re supposed to leave and pick their child up from school.
It’s obvious that Mercy does not know what is happening on the ground. HR wants to get rid of language about pagers, because they are “obsolete”, despite Plant Ops workers still receiving them. When asked about if the cafeteria closes and when, they didn’t respond and seemed clueless. Mercy is not acting in the workers’ best interest when they do not even know the basics of the workplace.
In summary, we are gearing up for a serious fight to get what we need at the bargaining table. Union members should be prepared to do whatever it takes to fight for the contract they deserve. SEIU reps Chris Connolly and Holly Simon will be contacting members about our action plan from here onward.