Roger Williams Medical Center
January 20, 2022
The mail ballots and voter packet with clear instructions will be sent out to eligible employees on February 7. I’ll post more details later.
We should get the voter list in 2 days.
On Monday there will be a committee meeting here at UNAP and on zoom at 5:00pm and 7:45pm. I will email the zoom link. All are welcome.
Flyer from Home Care Colleagues Click: Roger Williams Organizing Update Flyer
Our Managers Are Now Everywhere. Where Have They Been?
All of a sudden, our managers are everywhere telling us how much they love us. Spreading falsehoods as “facts.” Telling us to vote no. Firing the CNO. Taking us away from patient care and requiring us to attend their “informational” meetings. Calling us at home. But where have they been over the last few years when we have needed them?
**Violating the state law prohibiting mandatory overtime.
**Floating staff to areas they are not oriented and trained to work in.
**Doing little to improve staffing.
**Making our work lives harder not easier.
Respect the Right of Nurses to Decide for Themselves
If the administration respected their professional nurses, they would honor the right of Roger Williams nurses to decide for themselves whether to form a union. Instead nurses are taken away from patient care when they are already woefully short staffed and flooded with antiunion silliness masquerading as “facts.”
*Flexibility- What flexibility do we have now? The managers make all of the decisions. With a union, we, Roger Williams nurses, will be part of the decision making. We will have enforceable contract rights. Union contracts provide flexibility, for example, self- scheduling and non standard shifts.
*Our Union, Our Contract- The administration is using sections of the Fatima contract as though that would be our contract. Wrong!! Fatima nurses are proud of their union and have voted to approve their own contract. We will decide for ourselves what goes in our contract. We will elect our negotiating team. We will vote on our contract by secret ballot vote.
**The Union Is Us- The administration keeps referring to the union, UNAP, as an outside third party. They are wrong. We, Roger Williams nurses will be the union. We will elect our own President, our own officers, write and approve our own constitution. We will negotiate our own contract. In short, we, Roger Williams nurses, not a third party will run our own affairs. There is no third party.
January 19, 2022
I have attached a flyer you may want to share with your coworkers. See and click above
Jeanne and Jack
January 14, 2022
As promised we have attached below a letter from Lynn Blais, president of UNAP to Jeffrey Liebman. In it she responds to your CEO's request to cancel your election.
We are moving forward to get your election set up. The election will be a mail ballot secret ballot election.
Click here for our union’s response to Jeffrey Liebman's letter: UNAP's response Lynn Blais
Click here for Jeffrey Liebman's letter: Jeffrey Liebman's letter
If you have any questions feel free to call us.
Jeanne Jose 4014863903
Jack Callaci 4015299080
January 13, 2022
I posted below Jeffrey Liebman's letter asking the president of the UNAP Lynn Blais to "suspend its organizing efforts at RWMC, including the recently filed petition" because of his concerns about patients.
- Hours later he takes registered nurses away from patient care by having mandatory meetings.
- This is not the time to take registered nurses from patients.
- Meetings should be voluntary not mandatory
The registered nurses will continue to make their own decisions about their professionnal work lives and they chose to file for an election and have a vote by secret ballot election.
Click here: Jeffrey Liebman's letter
A little respect for your decision is in order.
Jeanne and Jack
P. S. Lynn Blais will respond and I will post it for you.
January 6, 2022
Yesterday you received the first of the employer's "communications" regarding your efforts to organize your own union. Remember that this will continue until after the election. The themes are predictable and the letter from Jeffrey H. Liebman touched on the one that is most disingenuous, the union is a “third party coming between us”. See below.
Please feel free to call any time.
Be Ready for the Anti- Union Efforts!
The Truth is Our Best Defense!
The union is a third party. They are outsiders. We don’t need outsiders coming in here and telling us what to do.
We, Roger Williams nurses, are the union. We make every decision in our union. We elect our negotiating team. We elect our officers and reps. We vote on our contract. We vote on our budget and dues. We speak for ourselves. Our union will be Roger Williams nurses speaking with an effective unified voice.
There are no guarantees with a union. Bargaining is a give and take process. The administration doesn’t have to agree to anything the union proposes. The union cannot force the hospital to give more than we are willing and able to give. Everything will be on the table. It is possible you may actually lose some things you have now.
The only guarantee we want is the right to have a strong effective, independent voice on all of the decisions that affect the jobs we do. We want the legal right to negotiate on all matters affecting wages, benefits, staffing and working conditions. Together, we want to make Roger Williams a better place to be a patient and a better place to practice our profession.
We know that our colleagues in union hospitals have far better pay, benefits and working conditions. In union hospitals, the administration doesn’t dare mandate nurses in violation of the law as they do here.
Unions have dues and initiation fees and fines. Can you really afford this union? If the union wins, you will have to pay union dues. After all the union is a business. Now, you don’t have to pay anything to come to work.
First of all, there are no initiation fees or fines in this union. Second, we don’t pay one penny in union dues until after we vote to approve our first contract. Third, it doesn’t cost to belong to the union, it pays. Much better pay more than off sets the cost of union dues. Our colleagues at Fatima, Westerly, Kent, Women and Infants and other union facilities make thousands of dollars more than we do with guaranteed annual step increases, cost of living increases and generous longevity pay. For example, Rhode Island Hospital nurses just voted to increase their pay to a starting rate of $30.73 and a top rate of $60.57. Just the increase in weekend differential to $4.50 per hour would more than pay the full amount of union dues.
If the union wins, you will lose many of your individual rights that you have now.
What rights are you talking about? What rights do we have now? You make policies and change policies and rules on a whim. Rules are applied differently to different people. You have the final say in all matters. We have no right to representation. With a union, that all changes. We will have the legal right to represent ourselves. We will negotiate a legally binding contract that sets forth all of our terms and conditions of employment. And most important, we will have the right to representation in all matters and have the right to have any differences settled by a neutral third party.
What if the union calls you out on strike? Can you afford to be without a pay check? Did you know that St. Vincent nurses in Worcester have been on strike for 8 months with no end in sight?
None of us wants a strike. We know that the only way a strike can happen with our union is if we, the members, vote by an overwhelming majority to go on strike. We know that the UNAP has never had a strike with the exception of a three day strike at Rhode Island Hospital. The members voted for a three day strike. The union won that strike.
Once the union gets in, you can never get rid of it.
That is simply untrue. If we ever want to get rid of the union, we do it the same way we got the union in. We would gather signatures and petition for a vote to get rid of the union.
CharterCare is a special place. We feel that we do not believe a union is in the best interests of our employees or our patients. We have an effective open door policy to address employee work related concerns without the necessity of having to go through a third party like a union. We are not perfect but we have a special culture of collaboration and mutual respect here. I hate to see a third party interfere with the unique relationships we’ve worked so hard to build over the years.
Special place? Why are nurses leaving in droves including long term nurses who have committed their lives to this hospital?
Respect? Why do you violate the state mandatory overtime law and then deny it? Most important, we have decided for ourselves that a union is in our best interests of the best interests of our patients or we would not be doing this. Our union will be made up of Roger Williams nurses. We are not an outside third party. We are your professional nursing staff. Respect our decision to decide for ourselves.
Union reps make lots of promises to get your vote. Don’t believe everything they have told you. We want to make sure you have all of the facts before you vote. Feel free to come to us at any time for the simple facts.
You should respect the fact that each of us that support the union does so because we have thought about it very seriously on our own. Because we are for the union, does not mean we are against the hospital. After weighing all of the facts, we have determined it is very much in our best interests to gain an effective voice for the professional nursing staff at Roger Williams. Our union reps have only promised to work with us to make things better for all of us. We know the facts. Respect our decision and let nurses decide for themselves how they choose to vote.
Roger Williams Organizing Updates
We filed for an election yesterday! Congratulations.
Please read the document below for details of next steps.
Please feel free to call me or Jack with questions.
Roger Williams Nurses File for Union Election With Over 60% Support
After months of hard work, 2/3s of the professional nursing staff has decided it’s time for a positive change. It’s time to make Roger Williams a better place to practice our profession and a better place to be a patient. This can only happen when nurses have a strong, united and effective voice. It’s time to form our own nursing union at Roger Williams.
On Tuesday, December 28th, the United Nurses and Allied Professionals filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board, the government agency that will conduct a secret ballot election. We hope to work out the details of the election including the date and voter eligibility in the next two weeks. Once an agreement is reached, an election will be schedule in about five weeks. The Labor Board will either order a live election or a mail ballot. At current Covid-19 infection rates, we believe a mail ballot will be ordered. In any case, we will keep in close conduct with all of you in the coming weeks.
When the Roger Williams Home Care (now Prospect Home Care) nurses filed for an election last spring, the administration immediately started to try to divide nurses and tell them to vote no. The administration failed. The Roger Williams Home Care Nurses (now Prospect Home Care) voted to form a union and are now successfully negotiating to improve all aspects of their wages, benefits, staffing and working conditions.
Now it is our turn.
Why join the UNAP?
The essence of a professional is one who has control over their work environment. The essence of an advocate is one who has the clout necessary to advocate effectively. As members of the UNAP, we have both. UNAP locals and members are widely recognized as leaders in efforts to advocate for health professionals and patients. Here are some examples:
Fair pay, rights, and a voice at work
Every day, the nurses and other health professionals who lead our union help to make the voice of their co-workers heard. This includes negotiating contracts that provide fair pay and benefits, reasonable hours of work, safe staffing levels, continued educational opportunities, and many other work-related issues.
Active legislative program
UNAP members initiate legislation and testify on behalf of important laws. The UNAP has led successful efforts to pass laws that promote safe staffing, prohibit mandatory overtime, establish safe patient handling programs, require hospital inspections, expand health care funding, and support continuing education.
Building public awareness
Our Union has produced and sponsored television and radio ads generating public awareness for our issues. We have organized rallies and lobby days at the State House attended by members, elected officials, and other health care advocates. UNAP members have appeared on television programs and have been guests on radio talk shows, proudly and articulately representing nurses and other health professions. Our Union is regularly sought out for caregivers' perspective on a variety of health care issues.
The UNAP is on the cutting edge of health care issues. The UNAP regularly offers conferences and seminars to keep our members informed about a wide range of important topics such as professional liability, infectious diseases, health care reform, safety & quality, ethics, and the nursing shortage.
Let’s face it. Health care administrators talk about quality care all the time. But our members are the ones who know best about quality care. After all, we are the ones who do the work. Whether it is at work, at the General Assembly, in the community or at the negotiating table, members of the UNAP are the true voice for the patients we care for.
How to join the UNAP
In order to form a UNAP local at your workplace, a majority of your co-workers must indicate their support for unionizing, which is usually done through a secret-ballot election conducted by the National Labor Relations Board. The UNAP employs experienced organizers who can guide you through the challenges that you will face in organizing a union.
Once you win your election, you will establish your own UNAP local, elect you own officers, and negotiate your own contract with your employer. You will have the benefit of the experience and support of UNAP leaders, staff and members from other locals, but the decisions you make will be entirely your own.
To receive more information about organizing in your facility with the United Nurses & Allied Professionals, e-mail us, or contact UNAP organizer Jeanne Jose, RN, at 401-486-3903 or 401-831-3647. All replies will be strictly confidential!
Know Your Rights!
The federal government protects the right of workers to organize in order to address issues of wages, benefits, and working conditions. The law that protects your rights is known as the National Labor Relations Act. Please take a moment to read more about your rights.