|RNPA NEWSBREAK: AUGUST 2019|
CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS BEGIN!
RNPA had our first scheduled negotiations meeting on Friday, August 2, 2019.
We know high quality patient care and a competitive pay and benefits package to keep nurses working in Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System go hand-in-hand. That is why in our negotiations we will be fighting to fix the wage, benefit and working condition issues that are causing dangerously high turnover. We are ready to bring solutions to the bargaining table and win a contract that lifts standards for patients and nurses.
Your RNPA Team is strong, prepared and ready to win. We are proud to have RNPA Board of Director Members’ President Debbie Chang, Vice President Allan Kamara, Negotiator Fernando Rocchild, Treasurer Maybelline Que, Education Chair Linda Hurley and Secretary Melissa Truesdel working on our behalf. RNPA’s Chief Negotiator is Rob Szykowny. who has negotiated public-sector contracts throughout California. Rob is a member RNPA’s law firm, Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld and graduated from Stanford Law School after attending Yale University for undergrad. RNPA is also employing Joe Brenner, a global analyst, to compare wages, Health and Pension Benefits, track CPI, and review and analyze the County’s finances. RNPA Association Representatives Shannon Ruth and Anthony Walters will serve as a resource for the team as well
At our first negotiations session we set out to establish ground rules for negotiations regarding scheduling of the future negotiations sessions and protocol for information gathering and review of proposals. The County Negotiations Team included Labor Relations Chief Negotiator Cynthia Mihulka, Second Chair Veronica Gil, O’Connor Director of Nursing Juana Castillo and Labor Relations Representative Alejandro Madi- Cerrada. RNPA is willing to work with the County to come up with reasonable ground rules. However, when RNPA made the argument to increase the number of authorized members on the negotiating team from 6 to 10 in an effort to best represent the now larger bargaining unit and to foster full transparency during contract negotiations by allowing some members to be present as observers, the County refused. As a result, no ground rules have been established and we will continue to negotiate using the MMBA as our guideline. Our next negotiations meeting is scheduled for Friday, August 16th from 9am -5pm at the RNPA office. We encourage all of our dues paying members stop by our offices to observe a negotiations session. Please RSVP to info@RNPA.net with a 1 hour shift between 9am-5pm, which you can be present for.
As always, we will keep you updated after every meeting. Please follow RNPA on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube). Look for more information soon and be ready to turnout for upcoming actions to show county leaders that RNPA nurses are united to win.
RNPA WIN! CALL BACK PAY FOR PER DIEM
During the first two pay periods following acquisition, when Saint Louise Hospital and O’Connor Hospital were transitions into the Santa Clara Valley Health and Hospital System, Per Diem Nurses at both Hospitals were scheduled, worked call and were not paid.
RNPA challenged the County’s failure to pay these nurses. The County contended that they did not have an avenue to pay these nurses because in the RNPA MOU, Per Diem and Extra Help nurses are unable to be On Call. RNPA’s position was that it does not matter, these nurses were scheduled and worked and should therefore be paid immediately.
After months of back and forth, RNPA was successful in getting an informal settlement and the affected nurses will be paid the for the hours that they were scheduled and worked.
If you are a Per Diem Nurse that was scheduled for Call and not paid, please call the RNPA Office immediately, (408)292-6061.
RNPA filed three grievances regarding pay disparities. One involves nurses that were employed in the SCVHHS prior to March 1, 2019, another with nurses that were hired from Verity effective March 1, 2019 and lastly Extra Help and Per Diem. All three grievances pertain to wage inequity; nurses’ years of experience being discounted, and the County not bargaining with RNPA regarding the salary placement of the new nurses.
RNPA’s law firm was unable to get the Santa Clara County Office of Labor Relations to choose an arbitrator, so our Attorney Manuel Boigues is now dealing directly with Santa Clara County Office of County Counsel to get these grievances scheduled for arbitration immediately. If you are a nurse that is affected by not being placed in the correct classification or step continue to email Human Resources and copy RNPA. This is documentation for our grievance. If you have been reevaluated and believe that your experience was not correctly calculated, please make sure that you have forwarded this information to the RNPA Office at email@example.com.
RNPA filed two grievances as well as an unfair labor practice charge regarding the County’s use of travelers. In the past, RNPA and the County have come to an agreement regarding the use of travelers. Travelers were agreed upon for specific purposes, i.e. Epic training and were agreed upon by RNPA for a specific period of time and under the following conditions:
Today, the County refuses to agree to the above terms and as a result, RNPA is forced to use the legal channels provided by law and the RNPA MOU.
If you are a nurse that has been canceled or not received additional shift work as the result of the County using travelers, make sure you send that information to RNPA. If travelers are in Charge on your unit please contact RNPA at (408)292-6061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.