RI Hospital 2011 Contract Campaign
Contract Campaign Activities & Issues
- SUMMARY OF OUR NEW CONTRACT
- Voices from the Bedside: RI Hospital's Misplaced Priorities
- Our Priorities
- UNAP Go-To Team
All UNAP members are asked to wear purple scrub tops during the last week of June. This "sea of purple" will visibly demonstrate that our members are involved, informed, and united for a fair contract. Come pick up your free purple scrub top in the Hospital cafeteria on Friday, June 24 through Monday, June 27, from 6:15 AM to 8:00 PM.
Membership Meetings & Vote on Friday, July 1
The Union will hold general membership meetings throughout the day on Friday, July 1 at 8:15 AM and 1:00, 4:30, 6:30 and 8:15 PM at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick.
New contract is ratified!
July 1, 2011
A new four-year contract between the United Nurses & Allied Professionals and RI Hospital was ratified on Friday, July 1 by a vote of 944 to 260, over the course of five membership meetings held at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick.
The new contract covers more than 2,200 Registered Nurses and allied health professionals. Among the most significant provisions of the agreement are:
- No layoff of employees with greater than five years of service for the life of the agreement.
- Wage increases ranging from 5% - 16% over the next four years (depending on current wage rates and length of service)
- No increase in employee health insurance contribution rates for the next four years.
- Expanded opportunities for employees to effectively address safety and quality concerns.
- The establishment of a “preferred” health care network to encourage employees to use Lifespan facilities, whenever possible. (This network is expected to be a precursor to a Lifespan “health plan” that may be offered to other Rhode Island employers in the future.)
Union President Helene Macedo, a Registered Nurse who has worked at RI Hospital for 20 years, credited the solidarity of UNAP members, and said, “The bad economy, combined with an uncertain future, led us to place a priority on securing our members’ jobs, wages, and health care costs. We are pleased that we were able to address these important issues, and that our members have given us their vote of approval by such a wide margin. We look forward to continuing our ongoing efforts to make RI Hospital the very best it can be – for our staff and our patients.”
One day to go!
June 30, 2011 -
Negotiations have been VERY difficult, and many issues remain unresolved. Our committee worked until nearly midnight last night, and we expect to work until late tonight as well in order to try to negotiate a fair contract that protects the rights and benefits of our members.
At this point, we still do not know whether we will be able to reach an agreement, but we will try our hardest. If we are unable to reach an agreement, we will begin our community outreach campaign this weekend.
At tomorrow's meetings, we will thoroughly discuss the Hospital's final offer, the details of a community campaign, and the possibility of authorizing the issuance of a 10-day strike notice.
This is a VERY important meeting. Please make every effort to attend. And please keep wearing your purple scrubs!!!
Long hours, slow progress
June 26, 2011 - The RI Hospital UNAP bargaining team gathered at the Johnson & Wales Hotel in Seekonk from 9 AM until 8 PM on Friday, June 23, but despite the long hours, most contract issues remain unresolved.
The issues that have received the most attention have been health insurance (costs and benefits), Baylor positions, safety & quality, and the Hospital's proposals to freeze wages and cut tuition assistance, service credits, and vacation accumulation. The Union has been working to address to the Hospital's issues while still protecting the rights and benefits of our members.
There are three bargaining sessions remaining - June 28, 29, and 30. In addition to the above issues, we expect to spend the rest of our time discussing wages, pension, double time, and job security.
Little progress made; Hospital still demanding takeaways
June 20, 2011 - After seven difficult bargaining sessions, RI Hospital has not dropped ANY of its demands for takeaways and other concessions. There are five more bargaining sessions scheduled: June 21, 24, 28, 29, and 30. This is plenty of time to reach agreement on a new contract if both sides are willing to do so. The UNAP will be as flexible and reasonable as possible, while continuing to advocate for staff and patients.
Despite the fact that we have taken NO action towards striking, Hospital administrators are trying to intimidate UNAP members by hiring strike breakers (instead of using the money to help settle our contract!), and telling employees that they could lose their jobs if they strike. Here are the facts about strikes.
Postcards to Dr. Babineau
June 14, 2011 – More than 1,000 RI Hospital UNAP members have already signed postcards to RI Hospital president Tim Babineau expressing their disappointment in the Hospital's approach to Union contract negotiations. Delegations of employees have been delivering postcards to Dr. Babineau's office on a daily basis. Check out the first group of postcards from the Davol ED staff.
Little progress in negotiations
June 10, 2011 – Most of this half-day bargaining session was spent discussing health insurance issues, but no new agreements were reached. The next two bargaining sessions are scheduled for June 15 and 17.
UNAP members express strong opposition to RI Hospital’s “misplaced priorities”
June 1, 2011 – Over 600 RI Hospital UNAP members attended meetings to get an update on the lack of progress in contract negotiations, and to plan activities to protest the Hospital’s approach to bargaining. Members expressed strong opposition to the Hospital’s takeaway demands on wages, health insurance, retirement benefits, premium pays, tuition assistance, and more. In addition, dozens of members shared stories about RI Hospital’s misplaced priorities (ie, putting corporate greed over patient need), including more than 30 stories that were recorded on videotape for future use. Share your stories HERE about RI Hospital's misplaced priorities.
RI Hospital demands big concessions from employees
May 10, 2011 - RI Hospital presented a complete set of proposals to the UNAP bargaining team that consisted almost entirely of demands for “givebacks” from employees, along with very modest raises for the next five years. Among the “low-lights” of the Hospital’s proposals were:
- CUTS in retirement benefits, tuition assistance, double time premiums, vacation accruals, service credits, and Baylor positions
- BIG INCREASES in health insurance premiums and co-pays
- Across-the-board raises totaling only 5% over 5 years
In addition, the Hospital has not agreed to Union proposals related to job security, patient safety & staffing, wages or benefits.
Click here to see a comparison of the Hospital and Union proposals on major issues.
Union presents proposals at first bargaining session
April 29, 2011 - The UNAP and RI Hospital have begun negotiations for a new contract. The current contract expires on June 30. The Union began the day by making an opening statement that acknowledged the difficult times we are in, and the many changes and challenges that lie ahead. The Union emphasized that in order for the Hospital to be successful, it must recognize that its employees are its most valuable asset. The Union’s proposals addressed a range of topics including safety & quality, continuing education, job security, employee rights, wages and benefits.
RI Hospital Chief Operating Officer, Fred Macri, made an opening presentation for the Hospital emphasizing the financial pressures that the Hospital is facing.
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