SEIU/KDMC Negotiations Update
Posted in the Ashland Forum
#1 Jan 5, 2014
It's been awhile, but with SEIU negotiations going on with KDMC, I've just been watching and listening.
Perhaps you don't know (like I did not know), but regardless of whether we get a new contract, SEIU will continue to collect their union dues from each of us, per the bill Pres. Obama signed into law. So, SEIU isn't out a dime if these negotiations carry on indefinitely.
This is the answers I got to my questions: "Historically, the Medical Center suspended the payroll deduction of union dues upon expiration of the labor contract, and resumed the deduction when a new contract was in place. However, during the 3-year term of the most recent contract, President Obama appointed new pro-union members to the National Labor Relations Board. One of their first decisions was to abolish the employers right to suspend the payroll deduction of union dues upon expiration of a union contract.
Moving forward, when a contract expires, an employer can only suspend the deduction of union dues if the union agrees. In the current negotiations, the Medical Center has submitted proposed language to permit the suspension of union dues upon expiration of a new contract. So far, the union has not agreed to this proposal.
With respect to the total amount of union dues that KDMC deducts from our bargaining unit Team Members' payroll checks and remits to SEIU over the course of a year, the past three year average is $221,100 each year."
I don't know about you, but this seems like a lot of money ($221,100 a year average) given to a group of people who negotiated higher health premiums, no raises for 3 years and who knows what else.
Apparently the sticking points, to my understanding, on the newest negotiations are:
Health Insurance. KDMC wants to give us the same as the other 3800 employees, which would result in lower premiums (since we'd be in with a larger group) and do away with any deductible if you use KDMC facilities. SEIU doesn't want this for us. Not sure what they want.
PTO versus Sick Leave, Holiday Pay, Vacation. KDMC wants us to go to PTO time where all three times (sick leave, holiday pay and vacation) are put in the same holding account We would continue to earn all three as we currently do, but they would be banked in one account so you can use them whenever we want.
As is, you could have 8 weeks of sick leave, but can't use a day for a sick child (unless you lie and say it's for you). With PTO, you can use your days as YOU see fit. SEIU is against this, but I'm not sure why. It's not like we're losing time earned, or hours, or anything else. So, I can't see what their objection is, and as they don't tell us regular union dues paying members, I can't give their viewpoint on anything.
Pay for Performance. I was under the impression the "Community Service" would dictate our pay raise. But as it seems, you will be graded on ten different levels pertaining to your job at KDMC. Community Serivce is just a way to earn extra credits.
Last but not least, pay raises. To my understanding, SEIU wants to re-instate the yearly step raises (the same for all employees, whether you are a good worker or not). I've been told they are asking for a 5% increase retroactive (not sure if it's 5% per year), and 5% a year for the next 3 years. This would be an increase of 20-30% per employee. And while this sounds great, it's not feasible in this economy.
I suggest, we accept whatever percentage was given to the other 3800 over the last three years, and then accept an open-ended salary increase for the same percentage they give the other 3800 employees over the next three years. Reasonable.
Well, just wanted to keep you updated with what I've gleaned.
#2 Jan 5, 2014
I heard it was 0.5% not 5%
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