Tuesday, March 26, 2013

News: "NUHW Restores Concessions Agreed to by SEIU-UHW"

Check out this article in the BNA’s “Daily Labor Report.” 

It gives more details about the contract that NUHW recently negotiated at California’s second largest hospital, California Pacific Medical Center… and how NUHW’s contract is far superior to the one that SEIU-UHW negotiated with the same exact hospital chain.

It’s an interesting tale of two unions.
  • NUHW successfully reversed the cutbacks that SEIU officials accepted soon after the trusteeship in 2009, including SEIU’s agreement to weaken seniority and shrink the opportunity for per diem workers to get benefitted positions.
  • SEIU-UHW’s contract forces workers to pay 21 percent of their monthly health insurance premiums -- totaling hundreds of dollars per month for each worker. NUHW’s members don’t have to pay a cent for their health coverage.
  • SEIU-UHW has acknowledged that NUHW is more effective at winning for its members at the bargaining table. SEIU inserted a “me too” clause in its contract with Sutter Health that allows SEIU-UHW members to enjoy the better wages and benefits that NUHW wins for its members. The news article actually quotes the language from SEIU’s “me too” clause.
Here are some excerpts from the article (the full text of the article is below):
NUHW’s contract restores concessions the former union representative [SEIU-UHW] agreed to accept. These concessions weakened seniority and made it more difficult for per diem workers to convert to positions with benefits…

Under the NUHW agreement, employees will continue to receive fully employer-paid health insurance, Borsos said. He said [SEIU-UHW’s] contract at St. Luke’s called for employees to pay 21 percent in premium contributions…

The contract SEIU-UHW negotiated with St. Luke’s [Hospital] late last year included a ‘‘me too’’ provision stating that if CPMC agreed ‘‘with another union at any of the locations of CPMC to an economic term more favorable to the employees than that contained within this agreement, the employer shall immediately notify the union and extend that more favorable economic term to the members of this bargaining unit.’’

The contract language listed examples of economic terms that included: raises; bonuses; terms of paid time off and extended sick leave usage and accrual; health insurance premium shares, copays, and deductibles; differentials; and premium pay. Borsos said the NUHW contract is more favorable in a number of areas including health care premiums, time off, and reporting pay, which will benefit the St. Luke’s employees.

The NUHW agreement provides employees who report to work but are sent home through no fault of their own 8 hours of reporting pay. UHW had agreed to cut reporting pay to 4 hours in the St. Luke’s contract.

NUHW also did not agree to any changes in paid time off and extended leave, which SEIU-UHW did. While both the NUHW and the SEIU-UHW contracts lowered the cap on the number of PTO hours that could be cashed out from 400 to 320, employees would stop accruing hours after 320 under the SEIU-UHW contract, which NUHW did not agree to, he said.

Also, SEIU-UHW agreed to cap the accrual of extended sick leave to 720 hours, while NUHW did not agree to any cap, he said.