Hospital Contract Update-Nov. 25

contract update--nov25Your Union Negotiating committee met with management on Tuesday, November 25.

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.

Epic Update

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.

Hospital Contract Update – Nov 19

contract update Nov 19-color[November 19, 2014] Your Union Bargaining Committee met with management today for five hours of bargaining discussions. While there were no major breakthroughs, the discussions were productive.

The Union explained each of our non-economic bargaining proposals and answered questions. Management did the same.

Management discussed the Hospital’s finances. But they did not mention that a federal judge this week ordered insurance companies to pay $30 million to Lifespan.

In the only bombshell of the day, management proposed to move all Teamster employees into Lifespan’s medical plan.

The Hospital will hear from the Bargaining Committee on this proposal next week.  But first we want to hear from you.

Call In & Speak Out on the Hospital’s Healthcare Bombshell

Call in and speak out on management’s proposal to move all Teamster employees into Lifespan’s health plan.

Call the Teamster Hotline at 888-837-4536. Press # to skip announcement and leave your message.

  • If you are in the Lifespan plan, let us know how you feel about it.
  • If you’re in the Union health plan, tell us what you think of the Hospital’s proposal to take it away and move all Teamsters into the Lifespan plan. 


Video: Contract Kickoff at RI Hospital

Teamsters from Rhode Island Hospital and supporters from other unions and the community flooded the Union Hall to launch our Campaign for a Fair Contract. Here’s a video of some of the highlights. If you missed the action, don’t worry. There’s more coming. Contract negotiations won’t be a closed-door affair this time. The issues at Rhode Island Hospital affect thousands of workers, their families and the community. We’re putting the issues on the table and out in the open so together we can win Good Jobs and Quality Care.


Hospital Teamsters Unite at Contract Kickoff

DSC_6570-553wTeamsters from Rhode Island Hospital packed the Union Hall to kick off our Campaign for a Fair Contract on Oct. 18.

Employees spoke out about job security, fair wages, safe staffing, harassment, retirement security, and other issues.

Members voted to unanimously approve our Bargaining Platform and the Negotiating Committee that will bring our issues to Hospital management starting on Oct. 21.

To win a good contract, management needs to see we are all concerned about these issues and united for a fair contract.

Here’s how you can stay informed:

* Text CONTRACT to 313131 so sign up to receive Contract Updates by text message.

* Call the Teamster Contract Hotline at 888-837-4536. It will be updated whenever there is contract news to report.

* Read Contract Bulletins. If you can help pass out updates in your work area, talk to a Liaison to get copies or just download them from the website. Click here to download a report on the Contract Kickoff. Click here to download the Bargaining Platform approved by the members.

Together, we’ll keep everyone informed & united for a fair contract.

Building Power by Involving Members

matt-taibi-200-225Our union is on the move. I want to thank Local 251 members for stepping up and making it happen.

We began the year by cutting officer pay by $300,000 and investing your dues money in the real source of our union’s power: the membership.

We asked members to step up and get more involved in our union and you have answered the call.

We’re building new alliances with unions and community groups like Jobs with Justice to help Teamsters and all workers win a better future.

The Fall 2014 Teamsters Local 251 Report shares the news about what we’ve accomplished together so far this year.

Some of our biggest work is ahead of us, including contract negotiations for close to 2,500 Teamsters at Rhode Island Hospital.

As the issue is being mailed out to members, members at the Hospital are launching a contract campaign.

We’re uniting Teamsters, other unions and the community to win good jobs, a fair contract and quality care for patients and their families.

Local 251 members are showing the power Teamsters can have when we get involved and work together. United, we win!

Matt Taibi
Local 251 Secretary-Treasurer

NEW Local 251 Report is in the Mail!

The Fall 2014 issue of the Local 251 report is in the mail to members.

Check out the report to read updates on the Rhode Island Hospital contract campaign and organizing victories at Woonsocket Housing Authority, Airgas, Petro, First Student, Fall River DPW, Cardi Ready Mix, PJ Keating, Twin River Casino, UPS and more. The Report includes reports on Local 251 events and info on applying for a Local 251 Scholarship award.

Click here to download the full 16-page report.

RIH Members Speak Out On Contract Issues

marcy_wilson-150Job Security

“Job security is everyone’s issue. As a clerical worker, I want to know that as EPIC moves forward, the Hospital is not leaving me behind. I’m glad the Union is putting proposals on the table to protect our jobs and our rights.”
Marcy, Wilson, ER Secretary, Hasbro


Pedro-Basilio-150Higher Wages

“We all have bills to pay and families to take care of. We deserve fair wage increases for the hard work we do.”
Pedro Basilio, X-Ray Transporter



ed_faria-150Retirement Security

“After you put your life into working for the Hospital, you should have something to show for it. Management cut the contribution to our 403(b) plan. That’s moving in the wrong direction.”
Ed Faria, Locksmith/Carpenter


armando_brasil-150Understaffing, Harassment & Workplace Fairness

“We need to put problems like understaffing, harassment and fairness on the table. We all know there are issues that are affecting workers, patients and their families in a negative way. It’s time to sit down and do something positive about it.”
Armando Brasil, CNA


chloe-sousa-150It’s All About Unity and Standing Together

“Together, we make the hospital run and together we can get management to listen and negotiate positive changes. It’s all about unity and standing together. Come to the Contract Meeting on Oct. 18. Have your say.”
Chloe Sousa, Transporter

College Scholarships for RIH Teamsters

Apply by Sept. 15

Local 251 is awarding seven $5,000 college scholarships to children of Rhode Island Hospital Teamster employees. This benefit was negotiated in our union contract with Lifespan.

Applicants must be the son or daughter of a Teamster member in good standing at Rhode Island Hospital to be eligible to apply.

Click here to download an application.

Mail your completed application to Teamsters Local 251, 121 Brightridge Avenue, East Providence, RI 02914 or turn in the completed application to a Union Representative or Liason.

All applications must be received by the Union Hall by September 15. A drawing will be held to determine the scholarship winners.