The Employment and Income Security Agreement (EISA) In Action
Question from Fontana Pharmacist:
"There is a group of nurses from Fontana home health department actively in the process of being laid off by KP. What is UNAC doing to help prevent the layoffs?"
Kaiser made a decision last summer to consolidate home health intake services to a central location – Downey Independence Park.
Kaiser has a management right to consolidate services; UNAC/UHCP has a responsibility to challenge whether such decisions are in the best interests of Kaiser patients and our members, and a duty to protect our members in any transition process.
UNAC/UHCP met with the Company and forced them to conduct a pilot study to validate the effectiveness of the proposed consolidation before moving forward. The pilot study did justify the service consolidation. There were 32 intake nurses affected by the regional consolidation, including six Fontana nurses. The new, consolidated Downey operation will employ 14 nurses beginning in March 2015, meaning 18 nurses have had their positions eliminated.
UNAC/UHCP negotiated and conducted a bid through process, whereby following seniority, nurses chose whether to move to the centralized Downey location, or used their seniority to remain at their current location. Several senior Fontana nurses used their seniority to remain at Fontana.
And though they are not happy with having their positions eliminated, it is not the same as being laid off. No nurse is being laid off. Through the Employment and Income Security Agreement (EISA) the 18 affected nurses will have a minimum of one year to move to a new comparable position, defined as same pay and benefits, same FTE status, and same shift. During the one year EISA transition period the nurses will be paid their full salary and maintain all their benefits.
UNAC/UHCP has assigned a dedicated staff representative to assist the nurses in their transition to new positions, and Kaiser has placed on hold posted comparable positions to allow the affected nurses an opportunity to use preferred bidding rights in choosing a new position.
UNAC/UHCP has used the EISA process a number of times over the past 15 years and nearly every member whose position was eliminated has found a new position; a few have voluntarily left; and a few others have voluntarily retired. The EISA has proven to be an effective tool in preventing outright layoffs.