The Nurses Nurse Blog
Update on Negotiations
The CNA negotiations team met on Dec. 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm to discuss a finalization of outstanding tentative agreements that could be wrapped up after the mandated retirement pick-up was imposed which left us no choice but to kick in the extra 3%. While our bargaining unit worked hard for justice we did not give up our principles of integrity, which meant fighting with dignity and sparing the County disgrace during its bid for trauma designation against SJRMC.
We rallied our argument against the retirement cuts before the Board of Supervisors on numerous occasions, strategically timing our case in order to give our whole-hearted support at City Council Meetings and public forums on why VCMC is better suited for trauma designation. We know we are the best and once we won trauma designation we thought the Board would support our initiative to recruit and maintain the best and the brightest RNs, LVNs and Psyche-Techs by approving a step system that promised future pay raises for the skills and work the different levels of the expert nursing we have throughout the Healthcare Agency.
We expected our hard work and loyalty to be recognized and the County would give us reciprocity in the form of 2.5% cuts (the same as the police and firefighters) instead of the 3%. Sadly this is not the case, but in retrospect we have no regrets because we are building trust and recognition with our community. RNs, LVNs and Psyche-techs did the right thing by writing to the newspaper and speaking out in public forums against SJRMC to get federal support for the trauma designation. We could have picketed during the hospital’s vulnerable time but we chose to wait to better serve our community rather than our own monetary concerns.
This was no mistake. Serving the greater good will prevail and the County has allowed us the opportunity to ratify the remainder of our tentative agreements that the bargaining team has worked on over the past year. In it, we have an opportunity to open up negotiations before the 3 year term is up in order to raise the Board’s awareness of recruitment and retainment issues. This could be a great avenue to create our career steps and address our recruitment problems for Santa Paula Hospital and other hard to staff areas of the Healthcare Agency.
Please take the time to clarify your questions and concerns with a negotiation team member and VOTE YES on January 5, 2011 to ratify the remainder of our outstanding contract issues. We continue to hold our heads up and be proud of the unity we built and the example of respect we hold our leaders to be accountable to.
The Nurses Nurse Blog