President’s Message – July 2013
UNAC/UHCP has much to celebrate while we continue to face challenges head-on. In June, UNAC/UHCP reached a settlement regarding Position Eliminations with Kaiser. Kaiser agreed to honor seniority as written in our local contract. It’s already heartbreaking to receive a position elimination notice as many of our members did late last year. But to receive this without any regard to the years dedicated in service to patients at Kaiser was an unnecessary, additional blow. After multiple demonstrations and meetings with management, we were able to push Kaiser to justly honor the most important tenet of our contract.
After diligence and active involvement by members during negotiations at Fountain Valley, the members overwhelmingly ratified their new three-year contract. We commend everyone for their involvement and their staunch dedication throughout negotiations which produced a first-ever wage grid for members at that affiliate. I echo my colleagues’ sentiments and agree that this will bring a higher level of fairness and professionalism to this hospital.
Chino Valley nurses also ratified their first-ever three-year union contract which includes transformative changes, including establishing a patient care committee and a guaranteed wage increase. In the midst of this win UNAC/UHCP, in an effort to start implementation, has filed a charge against Chino at the NLRB for failing to sign three contract terms and unlawfully withdrawing recognition. However, in obtaining this contract we have done what no one else has done since Prime Healthcare bought multiple facilities. While Prime has been forced to inherit contracts from union hospitals, we bargained the first contract they ever directly signed with a new union. What may have seemed an insurmountable goal to reach is now a reality, only possible by unifying our priorities and voicing them as one.
Our work, however, does not end with these successes. We need to ensure that our patients and their families are treated with the utmost care. To ensure this happens, we all need to continue being actively engaged to keep management accountable and our contracts enforced. These victories were not easy to achieve, so let’s be inspired by these challenges and let’s own these victories.
Ken Deitz, RN