Many contract proposals were discussed. Both sides made modifications to some proposals. We reached Tentative Agreements on a number of minor issues.
There was also heated discussion at times.
Members flooded the Contract Hotline with messages that you want Teamster healthcare, not the Lifespan health plan. We made sure management heard you loud and clear.
Management has not budged from their healthcare proposal.They were also not responsive to members’ concerns about job security, subcontracting and unfair assignment of overtime.
Lou Sperling repeatedly said the contract language is 20 years old and has worked well.
We told him the language has worked well for management, but members at the Hospital need some changes.
Management remains opposed to continuing the No Layoffs clause. Even after Epic is implemented, they want the right to lay off more employees at any time
Job security is a priority of Local 251 members and we will fight for it.
Two more bargaining sessions are scheduled for December 10 and December 16. We also discussed some dates in January to continue negotiations into the new year.
Our goal is to get a fair contract and we will continue negotiating until we reach that goal.
President Paul Santos and other Bargaining Committee members met with a representative from Epic.
Many employees will have to be trained to work with the new system, but the vast majority of jobs will be maintained.
The Hospital expects 75 to 100 positions to be eliminated over the next 18 months. (Some of these positions are vacant now.)
To avoid layoffs, the Union proposed that members whose jobs will be eliminated due to Epic be offered a very generous severance package.
Management did not agree to the specific package of pay and healthcare that we proposed, but they did agree that the Hospital will have to offer an attractive severance package.
Management added six more job titles that will need some training on Epic: Plastic Surgery Clinical Office Coord., Plastic Surgery Coord., OR Processing Assistant, Surgical Charge Entry Specialist, Interpreter, Interpreter Dispatcher, Interpreter Per Diem, Info Desk Receptionist, and Pediatric Billing Specialist.
Lou Sperling said he only found out about the need for training for these classifications yesterday, and that the list of non-affected classifications that the Union put out last week was correct at that time.