Management was adamant at the August 15th bargaining session that they wanted to eliminate the 3/4 schedule for nurses despite evidence our bargaining team presented that the change would not save any money for Jackson and would devastate staffing at Jackson. Management also had minimal data to present to support the $145 million in takeaways they are proposing.
Chief negotiator Martha Baker, RN, told management the majority of Jackson’s nurses would take a double hit under their proposal to eliminate the 3/4 work schedule and offer only 3/3 shifts for 12-hour RNs. Losing a shift is equivalent to a 16% pay cut—on top of the other 11-16% in cuts management is already proposing in takeaways.
“That’s a 32% cut in wages,” Baker said. “I don’t see how you can keep nurses with this type of bargaining. If you lose them, you’re losing years and years of training that you’ve paid good money for. You’re pretending that there’s not a nursing shortage. This gouging is unnecessary and doesn’t even help close the budget gap. This is bad math. This is a problem.”
Baker presented evidence that a 4/3 and 3/3 work schedule were cost neutral. Additionally, a 3/3 work schedule would force Jackson to hire an additional 250 nurses to fill the shifts that would be cut.
Management’s chief negotiator Bob Norton countered that they were adamant about the proposal. “We’re going to a 3/3 shift,” he said. “This is going to be a sticking point.”
FINANCIAL DATA FROM MANAGEMENT IS LACKING
Local 1991 Attorney Mark Richard asked management for detailed financial information on their proposals, and reminded them of the huge financial sacrifices they are asking of their employees. In response to Local 1991’s information request, management provided minimal information.
“We can’t make a $145 million decision without data. We’re looking to drill down and find out if there is a real plan here,” he said. “We are dedicated to saving Jackson, but we want it to be evidence-based. The hardest thing is for employees to take from their families and then not see efficiencies being implemented at Jackson.”
Norton complained the amount of data our union is asking for is difficult and time-consuming for management to produce. He agreed to let our analysts, including Duane Fitch of The Sibery Group, work with Jackson CFO Mark Knight to review financial data before the next bargaining session on Friday.
PROPOSAL TO CHANGE PHT RETIREMENT SYSTEM IS EXCESSIVE
Management also presented a proposal to change the PHT retirement system, and admitted that the cuts would be even deeper than those inflicted on FRS participants by the Florida legislature. Baker objected and said it was an excessive change that does not help fix Jackson financially within the next year, but seemed to take advantage of the current crisis.
FLOAT POOL WILL REMAIN
At today’s session, our team sought clarification on the float pool and management confirmed that the float pool would continue to exist. The team is awaiting financials from management so that we can further analyze and prepare counter proposals.
PROFESSIONAL ON CALL PAY TO BE ADDRESSED NEXT SESSION
Management also stated they would clarify the job-basis on-call proposal for Professionals at the next session.
MANAGEMENT WANTS QUICK SETTLEMENT
Despite the lack of data needed to evaluate and vet management’s proposals, Norton pushed for a quick settlement. “We need to sign off on some of these articles,” Norton warned: “If an agreement is not reached by the end of September, these proposals will change.”
NEXT SESSION FRIDAY, AUGUST 19
The next bargaining session is scheduled for Friday at 1:30 p.m. in DTC 259.
MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS THIS WEEK
Membership meetings will be held this week to review and approve proposals on Tuesday, Aug. 16th from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Rehab, 3rd Floor Auditorium and Wednesday, August 17th from 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. in Rehab 3rd Floor Auditorium
STAY UNITED…KEEP IN TOUCH WITH BARGAINING TEAM MEMBERS
Bargaining is a give and take process. We must stay informed and united as we continue negotiations. Stay in touch with your bargaining team members, check your email, and visit our website to stay up-to-date.