Huge win for Avalon workers!
We met on August 30th and September 6th for our second and third session of bargaining with Avalon. We are excited to say we have reached tentative agreements on all of our non-economic proposals!
We were able to agree on the following issues:
Layoffs & Reductions in Hours: We reached an agreement on Layoffs and Reduction in Hours language. Should a facility’s census fall and the numbers of employees exceed required staffing levels for more than sixty days, the Employer agrees to meet with the Union regarding the impact of continuing reduced hours or the possibility of layoff. Our previous language was ninety (90) days.
Hours of Work, Break Periods & Overtime: We secured language on consecutive day overtime with the language that states the employee would offer the option of taking days off. We pushed back on their proposal to add mandation language and protected workers from being mandated to stay for an additional 4 hours after their shift! This is a BIG VICTORY and we are proud that we stood strong on this issue.
Dignity and Respect: We updated language by encouraging employers to speak in private with their employees to better reflect mutual respect and dignity between both.
Labor Management Committee: We proposed stronger language around labor management meetings to encourage better representation from all of the bargaining unit departments so that they can participate in LMC’s.
Union Rights: Union Stewards will be given the opportunity to speak with new bargaining unit employees in private for up to 15 minutes on paid release time.
Seniority: Seniority should move with you if you go from one Avalon facility to the other.
Health and safety is our only article that is still up for conversation due to an economic component that has been proposed. Our Labor Day Sticker Action on September 4th was a manifestation of the power we hold as employees and our ability to be the change we want to see in our workplaces when we stand united.
While we won improvements in our non-economic language, we need to stay united while our bargaining team continues to negotiate economics. Our next bargaining sessions are September 20th and September 25th. Wear PURPLE on bargaining days and show UNITY.
We had our second bargaining session for the new Dakavia contract on Friday, September 15 and we made great progress.
We Tentatively Agreed (TAd) on two articles which means we only have Article 10 (Hours of Work) left plus Economics to negotiate. We look forward to wrapping up soon and appreciate Management’s movement and collaboration on a number of topics.
Next negotiations are on Monday, September 22 and Friday, September 29. Please wear purple to show solidarity with your Bargaining Team and coworkers!
Here are some highlights!
- Seniority: We TAd (Tentatively Agreed) on Seniority. Management previously agreed to our language on workers applying and carrying their seniority between Dakavia facilities.
We agreed on language related to loss of hours. If Bargaining Unit employees lose 2 shifts (or 15 hours) in a calendar month due to low census, our Union and the Employer agree to meet to discuss the impact of continuing hours being cut and addressing concerns around reduction and implementation of layoffs sooner than ninety days. We shall be notified of the need for such a meeting in writing 5 days prior to the posting of the new monthly schedule. Also, requires a timeline and notification for ongoing call-offs so as to give workers to the opportunity to better plan their lives. We are hoping to agree on this at our next negotiation session.
This language will help us give Bargaining Unit workers more information and more options in anticipating their future hours.
- Bereavement Leave: We TAd (Tentatively Agreed) on Bereavement Leave. Management agreed to our proposal of Broader language on who is covered in the immediate family for Bereavement Leave which would not only include domestic partners but also same-gender couples.
- Article 10, Hours of Work: We made great progress on Article 10. Pathway to Agreement: Management heard our concerns about their proposed Mandation Language and agreed to withdraw that language.
We agreed on a 12 month period for Draws from Paychecks as well as the order in which filling shifts happen. We agreed that the employee may be requested to stay late after the employer has exhausted all options but will not be required. We also agreed on a guarantee of 4 hours minimum of work for Calls-Offs or the choice of 4 hours of pay.
What remains to be determined and agreed on in this article is the Shift Bonuses we proposed. Due to Central Table Bargaining still determining the money available to Dakavia, we have not yet been able to discuss this economic proposal in detail. However, we are hoping to do so on Monday, September 22.
What’s left? Once Central Table has concluded their negotiations, we will have a clearer picture on what money is available for Dakavia to negotiate between wages, shift bonuses, and changes to health care. A lot depends on what happens at Central Table. But we are hoping to move everyone to a yearly October 1 date for raises instead of two different dates. This will be more in line with the other ownerships and will be less confusing for workers.
Please stay tuned as we continue to make progress towards a finished contract. We are almost done and are counting on you, our coworkers to stay UNITED!
For more information about how to get involved and support your bargaining team, speak to the union stewards, bargaining team member or local CAT member in your facility or contact your SEIU organizer at 1.844.503.SEIU.
“Together we made our voices heard about the negative impact the Mandation language would have on our lives. Because we stuck together and were united, management heard us and withdrew their language. We’re getting closer to talking about economics and finishing the contract. Please stay updated and connected as we move forward!”
Your SEIU 503 Dakavia Bargaining Team
Your Prestige Bargaining Team had our first two days of bargaining this past week.
We TA’d (Tentative Agreement) on two articles, clarifying language around the Fun Committee, the Labor Management Committee, and the call off procedure. We hope the changes will make these areas of the contract easier to understand and utilize!
We spent a large majority of our time talking about the biggest areas of concern for our co-workers, particularly around staffing and the attendance policy.
While we don’t have any agreements to point to yet, we have heard your priorities loud and clear! We are trying to come up with creative and collaborative solutions with management in order to address these issues.
Our next bargaining dates are September 19th, 20th, and 27th.
For more information about how to get involved and support your bargaining team, speak to the union stewards, bargaining team member or local CAT member in your facility or contact your seiu organizer at 1.844.503.SEIU.
On August 23rd we met with the Employers for our fourth session of Central Table bargaining. We were able to agree on the following issues:
- Immigration language protecting the rights of immigrant workers
- Contract trainings for Healthcare Services Group managers, and including them in our facility LMCs.
We are continuing to have discussions around updating our grievance procedure, and giving nursing home workers the ability to sign up to be members of our union by phone and electronically.
While we were happy to see progress on the above issues, we have very serious concerns about the Employers’ approach to economics, specifically around the new minimum wage rates. Instead of coming to the table to talk about how they can and should do “Better than the Minimum”, the Employers are focused on the costs of bringing workers up to minimum wage.
Our next Central Table bargaining session is September 13.
We met with the Employers for our third session of bargaining. It was a very productive session and we came to an agreement on the following issues:
- Trainings for new managers and anyone doing staffing in our facilities. The Employers recognized the importance of managers being educated in the contract so our rights and the processes in our contracts are respected. This new language will appear in our Nursing Home Alliance Agreement later this year.
- More paid, hands on training for new nursing staff. We will now get up to 5 days paid training! We will also be working with the Employers around implementing new dementia and Alzheimer’s trainings at our facilities.
We are close to agreement on the following issues and hope to resolve them in our next session:
- Immigration language protecting the rights of immigrant workers
- Contract trainings for Healthcare Services Group
We are still working through the following issues:
- Giving nursing home workers more access to their union and the ability to sign up to become a member by phone or electronically.
- Updates to our grievance language.
Our next session is on August 23rd. Other sessions will be on September 13 and September 21.
For more information, speak to the union stewards in your facility or contact your SEIU organizer at 1.844.503.SEIU.
Our third day of bargaining with Avamere was really successful. We reached agreement on two important articles.
Here’s a breakdown of what we won and what we discussed:
- Seniority will move with you if you go from one Avamere facility to another for the purpose of determining wages including longevity bonuses, and PTO accruals.
- Layoffs will no longer be defined as 33% of a facility being laid off. We will now be able to protect workers’ rights if they are laid off by classification.
We had a very good discussion with Avamere around hours cuts. Avamere understood our concerns around hours cuts and how they affect us and our families – and they’ve committed to continue discussing ways to make sure that we pick up hours any way we can. We ended up agreeing to language that says that if we lose 2 shifts or 15 hours in a month, that Avamere will meet with us to figure out the impact of continuing hours cuts and addressing concerns around that.
We also had a good discussion with Avamere about our facilities struggling with staffing. Float pool (temporary) workers will be used to help address staffing needs, but any temporary worker will not replace a bargaining unit member. Additionally, if a temporary worker works for at least 4 months in one facility, they’ll become permanent and a part of our bargaining unit.
Our next session is on September 7th. Future bargaining dates are: September 12, and September 28.
“We moved forward and got a lot done today! We will be starting to discuss economics in our next few sessions.”
– Alessa Smith, CNA Avamere South Salem
Agreement Includes Safety Provisions for Nursing Home Residents, Workers
Meadow Park Health and Specialty Care workers defeated potentially dangerous proposals from Fortis (Meadow Park Management) and succeeded in reaching a tentative agreement that will support Meadow Park resident and worker safety.
Meadow Park workers had been deeply concerned about resident safety issues from management’s initial proposals, which included forced overtime policies and limitations on workers’ ability to coordinate care from one shift to the next. Management’s agreement to back off these proposals allowed workers to cancel a strike that had been unanimously authorized by workers.
“We felt strongly that the administration’s original proposals weren’t healthy for workers and weren’t safe for residents,” said Fay Westfall, certified nursing assistant at Meadow Park. “Workers stood up for what was right, and got the administration to back off the provisions that could dangerously impact our residents.”
In addition to preserving resident safety, workers also secured a 4% wage increase each year of the two-year agreement, raising certified nursing assistants’ average wage of $13/hour to more than $14/hour in 2017. The wage increase demonstrates a commitment to compensating workers fairly for the challenging work they do, while ensuring that Meadow Park can continue to recruit and retain quality workers.
Congratulations to Meadow Park workers for this exciting victory!
Certified nursing assistants, cooks, and many more workers at Meadow Park Health and Specialty Care in St. Helens have unanimously voted to strike in response to ongoing contentious negotiations over patient care and safety, as well as working conditions.
“I can’t afford to strike, but I also can’t afford not to strike,” said Fay Westfall, certified nursing assistant at Meadow Park. “What they’re asking us to do isn’t healthy for us workers, and it isn’t safe for residents.”
Workers cited a number of resident safety issues at the bargaining table that prompted the strike vote, including:
- Forced overtime policies that require staff to work double shifts. Workers are concerned that forced double-shift overtime makes for physically and mentally exhausted workers who can’t perform at 100 percent—a problem that could prove to be dangerous or even fatal in a healthcare setting.
- Eliminating overlap shifts by shortening days from eight to seven and a half hours. If this proposal went forward, workers leaving for the day would not be able to brief their incoming colleagues on the status of residents. When incoming workers don’t have the information they need to properly care for residents, it increases the likelihood of patients slipping through the cracks.
Workers will return to the bargaining table later this month; in the meantime, strike preparations are moving forward.