180 nursing home workers at Grand Manor in St. Louis ratified a three-year contract last week after 8 months of negotiations. The bargaining team stood united and mobilized coworkers to sign petitions, march on the boss, and engage community members and workers at sister facility Northview Village, which is under the same ownership as Grand Manor.
Management kicked off bargaining by attempting to drastically increase the cost of insurance for employees, all while pushing for stagnant wages. Workers weren’t going to stand for it and kept the pressure on to ensure front-line employees were recognized for their hard work and dedication to the facility and patients.
The new contract includes some of the following highlights:
“I feel really good about bringing my coworkers out and getting them involved in our union,” said Denice Givens, a Grand Manor employee and member of the bargaining team. “Together we took a stand and demanded that we get recognition for our hard work over the years at Grand Manor.”
Congratulations to Grand Manor employees!
Thanks to hard work and unity among techs, EVS, dietary, and many other employees at Research and Menorah Medical Centers, a new agreement was reached with management recently, averting a planned strike at RMC.
Here’s a summary of what’s in the latest contract:
– Wage increases
We raised the minimum wage rate for all job titles that had start rates under $9.10, resulting in a 6-7% raise for our lowest paid employees.
Year 1: 2.5% raise for all full-time and part-time employees, including Experience Rated PRNs*, and including employees who were capped on our pay scale. This raise is retroactive to the first week of June so keep an eye out for your back pay.
Year 2: 2.75% raise for all full-time and part-time employees, including Experience Rated PRNs*, and a 2.75% annual bonus for capped employees.
Year 3: No less than a 2% raise for all full-time and part-time employees, including Experience Rated PRNs*, but subject to the Wage and Healthcare Reopener in 2016.
– Stand-by pay increased to $2.25 effective January 2015, and maintained stacking or pyramiding.
– First-time preceptor pay for clinical employees who train. Job titles that qualify for preceptor pay will be determined by the joint Union/Management Professional Technical Committee in the next 90 days.
– Employee stock purchase option
– 11 non economic improvements
1. PRN and part-time probationary period reduced from 180 days to 120 days.
2. Cross-training: Union members and management will meet to develop a cross- training program for employees who wish to float to other departments to avoid being sent home for low-census. If you are interested in helping wit this, or have idea, contact a steward .
3. Agency use in OR: Union members and management will meet to address the issue of over use of agency employees in the OR, as it relates to retention and recruitment. All OR employee input is welcome. See Renita at Menorah, or Charlie at Research to get involved.
4. Computer Training: Training will be provided on-site during November and December for employees on all shifts to learn to navigate the HCA job posting
5. PTO: If your schedule is posted more than 4 weeks in advance, your manager must still consider PTO requests.
A number of non economic improvements in addition to those listed above were also made.
*For a listing of Experience Rated PRN job titles, see your union bulletin board or a member of the bargaining team. If you are a Non-Experience Rated PRN, that means you are considered a Flat Rate PRN. Union Flat Rate PRNs will be meeting with management in the next four weeks to determine flat rate wage increases in line with the market.
Stay tuned for information on contract distribution!
MetroSouth Medical Center’s service and maintenance workers made history last week, ratifying their first-ever union contract.
MetroSouth Medical Center is owned and operated by Community Health Systems (CHS), one of the largest for profit healthcare systems in the country. The company owns, operates, or leases 135 hospitals in 29 states, including eight in Illinois.
Just over a year ago, workers succeeded in organizing their union despite management’s attempts to squash their efforts. Employees stood strong and brought that same determination throughout the campaign for a first contract.
“We now have the tools and the rules to have a constructive workplace environment,” said Sandra Summage, Secretarial Partner in SICU/MICU.
Contract language includes across-the-board raises, equity pay increases for 41 employees, subcontracting language, mandatory position postings, and low-census language.
“This contract moves us forward,” explained Nancy Guide, a PCP in MedSurg. “We count too!”
“I’m very happy about our first contract, and am looking forward to negotiating our next one in two years,” said Brenda Shannon, Lead Barista in the Food and Nutrition Department. “It was a great leaning experience!”
This victory marks the first SEIU Healthcare contract for CHS hospital workers in Illinois. Employees join the 4,200 other CHS-affiliated workers in California, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington who are already united in SEIU Healthcare.
INDIANAPOLIS–Chanting “forward together, not one step back,” a crowd of 300 protesters marched from the Crispus Attucks high school to the Indiana statehouse to protest regressive laws passed by the Indiana legislature and policies that impact the poor.
A delegation of 25 SEIU Healthcare Indiana & Illinois members was among rally participants, standing in unity with other labor groups, activists, clergy and residents.
The Rev. William J. Barber II, president of the NAACP in North Carolina and founder of the Moral Mondays Movement, delivered the rally keynote address. Moral Mondays is a protest movement characterized by its civil disobedience. The Rev. Barber spoke at the 2013 HCII Leadership Assembly, an event that prompted Indiana activists to invite him to the state.
Rally speakers addressed such issues as anti-worker “right to work” laws, the need for a higher minimum wage, unfair immigration policies and affordable healthcare, among other issues. Home care provider Adam Patti addressed the issue of healthcare.
“Even though I spend every day providing healthcare to Hoosiers in need, I can’t afford insurance to keep myself healthy,” Adam told the cheering crowd. “Caring for people with disabilities brings me great joy, but unfortunately my employer’s health care is too expensive. I stand with thousands of other healthcare workers who do not have access to healthcare themselves.”
Adam, a father of one daughter, said he hasn’t had a check-up in four years and a recent bill to pull an abscessed tooth cost $400. He called on the legislature to act on a Medicaid Expansion bill.
In order to cover the unexpected cost, Adam had to “skip meals and some utilities went unpaid. I faced foreclosure on my home, but thankfully I was able to secure a grant to save my house. I am $48,000 in debt from student loans and have had to rely on family and friends for food, gas, childcare, and other necessities. With all of this, health insurance seems like a distant luxury,” he said.
Rev. Barber said the Moral Mondays Movement is growing and put the rally into a biblical context. “If we help the poor, we shall be called repairers of the breach and God will hear our prayers,” Rev. Barber said. “”Weeping may endure for a night. Tea parties may endure for a night. Mean folk may endure for a night. But hang in there, because joy still comes in the morning.”
After reading ‘Faces of minimum wage’ over the weekend, I felt inspired to share my story as a home care worker, a story I feel few have heard and understand.
I support my family of five by serving seniors and people with disabilities who want to remain living in their homes. I provide services like cooking, cleaning, help with mobility and personal hygiene. Without me, my six consumers would not have the same quality of life, and may even be forced to think about nursing home care – a much more costly alternative to a home care worker like me.
I work 52 hours a week and make only $9.85/hour after three years on the job. I have no sick days or vacation time, and if one of my consumers ends up in the hospital that means I don’t get paid.
Keeping food on the table and bills paid is a constant struggle, and I honestly don’t know how we would survive without payday loans.
Even though it hurts to know my pay doesn’t reflect the hard work I put in, I still look after each of my consumers as if they were my own family. I would want someone just like me to be there for my parents; however, I wouldn’t want that person to be forced to live in poverty for choosing the line of work that keeps my loved ones at home where they want to be.
We need compassionate, skilled home care workers for our aging population and for those with disabilities. But until we recognize the vital role workers like me play in the lives of our friends and family by increasing pay and providing benefits, we cannot build a system that will meet the increasing demands of the future.
Keith Kelleher’s article over the Labor Day weekend said the recent Harris v Quinn decision could either be a nail in the coffin, or a shot of adrenaline for home care providers. After today’s announcement of home care workers joining the fight for $15 with fast food workers, I think we have an answer.
I’m a single dad and have been providing home care for 4 years. I work hard each day to provide for my son. But with low wages and few hours, it’s impossible to get by.
Home care workers support seniors and people with disabilities through services like meal preparation, house cleaning, help with mobility, bathing and personal hygiene. I love my work, yet I constantly worry about paying my bills on time and putting food on the table.
But this isn’t just about home care workers. Seniors and people with disabilities want to live at home in their communities with independence and dignity, but paying low wages to the workers who enable them to do so puts the entire system at risk.
Home care is one of the fastest-growing jobs right now, and demand will only continue to increase as baby boomers age. We must start investing in home care workers now so that committed caregivers like me aren’t forced to look elsewhere to support our families.
That’s why I’m proud to stand with fast food workers in the fight for $15.
Some may not realize it, but we have a lot in common. We get up and work hard every single day, but barely scrape by off of the low wages we earn.
Those united in this expanding movement believe that no matter who you are or where you’re from, if you work hard, you should be able to make enough money to support for your family.