We had our fourth bargaining session with Management last night, putting across several counters and also receiving responses from the Administration to several proposals we had shared at prior sessions. Here are the highlights of what was discussed last night:
- Wages: Mgmt shared a wage proposal that included some upward movement in initial wage increases upon ratification with the lowest paid Technical Professionals moving to a starting wage of $18.54. Other positions received widely varied increases, as Mgmt continues to propose different initial increases for different positions instead of the same initial increase for all Technical Professionals. Mgmt did not increase their proposed wage increases beyond March, sticking with the 5% October 2023, 3% October 2024, and 5% October 2025 increases that they proposed at our last session. As a reminder, our last wage proposal at the 1/18 session was to have all Technical Professionals receive a 10% increase in March and to bring everyone up to at least $21/hr, a 10% increase in October 2023, and a 7% increase in October 2024. Here are Mgmt’s 1/30 Wage Proposal and proposed March 2023 Wage Scale if you would like to learn more.
- UVMMC Advertising for Strike Replacements: As part of the wage discussion, we asked the Administration why they were already advertising for Technical Professionals to cover for us in the event of a strike when we were still working hard to reach an agreement before our contract expires. They initially claimed they had no knowledge of these ads on Indeed before acknowledging their desire to contingency plan. Specifically, we asked why they were willing to pay scab Techs $80-100/hr while still offering such low wage increases for existing employees. They again cited the need to contingency plan. To be clear, it remains our goal to reach an agreement on a fair contract before our contract expires so that we will not have to strike, and we encourage UVMMC to put available financial resources into recruiting and retaining permanent staff.
- Differentials: Mgmt agreed to our proposal to eliminate the current A and B differential groupings of Technical Professionals so that all receive the same differentials going forward. Additionally, Mgmt proposed increasing the Evening differential to $2.50/hr, increasing the Night differential to $6/hr, increasing the Weekend differential to $3.50/hr, increasing the Per Diem differential to $2.00/hr, adding Imaging units to units eligible to receive a Charge differential and increasing that differential to $3.00/hr, and reducing the Respiratory Transport differential to double time. We countered with a proposal that would increase the Evening differential to $2.50/hr in March and then $3.00/hr in October 2023, increase the Night differential to $6.00/hr in March and $6.50/hr in October 2023, increase the Weekend differential to $3.50/hr in March w/ a 3.5% quarterly Weekend Incentive bonus, increase Per Diem differentials (Holiday-$5.00/hr, Night-$6.00/hr, Weekend-$6.00/hr, Evening-$4.50/hr, Day-$2.00), a Charge differential for all Technical Professionals who serve in that role of $3.00/hr, a Float differential of $3.00/hr, maintaining the current Respiratory Therapy Transport differential, creating a $2.00/hr Preceptor differential in March and increasing it to $2.50 in October 2023, and a Crisis Pay differential of $2.50 for units w/20% vacancy rate or higher. Here is Mgmt’s 1/30 Differentials Proposal and our 1/30 Differentials Counter Proposal.
- Hours of Work/Staff Schedules: After receiving significant pushback on trying to eliminate the ability for those currently working straight shifts, Mgmt proposed allowing those in CT, Radiology, MRI, Ultrasound, and Nuclear Medicine who currently work straight shifts to continue to do so and that those who wish to switch to such a schedule in those units would not be unreasonably denied. Also, after trying to make so those who had previously been permanently removed from weekends in CT and Radiology would have to work weekends again, Mgmt proposed allowed existing employees in those units who had previously permanently been removed from weekends to continue to not have to work weekends. Here is Mgmt’s 1/30- Hours of Work/Staff Schedules Proposal.
- Overtime: We proposed allowing Technical Professionals to decide to take either double pay for urgent or time and a half plus 1/2 hr of CTO per hr worked and not denying urgent pay for any single absence that does not exceed 4.5 hrs. Here is our 1/30- Overtime Proposal.
- Per Diems: We proposed reducing the number of Per Diem required hours to 200/yr, the differential rates outlined above under differentials, and a ratio of 1 Per Diem for every 5 FTEs. Here is our full 1/30- Per Diem Proposal.
- Summer CTO Bonus: We proposed a few changes to the eligibility criteria to make it easier to qualify. Here is our full 1/30- Summer CTO Bonus Proposal.
- Parking: We proposed requiring better security in remote lots in addition to language previously proposed to make it easier for those who take call or split shifts between sites to park on site at main campus. Here is our full 1/30- Parking Proposal.
- Union Access: Mgmt offered 850 hrs for our union bank of hours. Given that we don’t know whether the contract will be for 2 or 3 years at this point, we did not feel comfortable agreeing to that.
- Recognition: We proposed that several individual positions in already organized Technical Professionals units that are not currently included in our union be added. Here is our 1/30- Recognition Proposal.
As you all can see, we still have a long way to go to reach agreement, especially when it comes to getting the wages, benefits, and rights at work that we deserve. We have four bargaining sessions left this month ahead of our contract expiring on March 1st. In order to continue to make gains in these negotiations, we will need everyone to step up in the coming month and actively participate. We need as many of you as possible to show up in-person for our next bargaining session next week on Wednesday, February 8th at 5:30PM in the McClure Lobby Conference Room (UVMMC Main Campus) wearing red to show the Administration that we are paying attention and that we won’t accept anything less than we deserve.