Kent Hospital UNAP Local 5008 – A message from the President
I want to thank the members of the negotiating team and all of the unit reps who worked so hard to negotiate our second contract. Like any negotiation, we didn’t get everything that we wanted. I am already thinking about proposals to improve our contract in the next round of negotiations that will begin less than 2 1/2 years from now.
On the core economics, I am proud of the fact that while many employers, including a number of area hospitals, are freezing wages we will receive a minimum raise of 6% over three years , well above the rate of inflation. I am also proud of the fact that we maintained rates for all nurses that continue on the step raises including longevity. Keeping our Blue Cross at affordable rates where we pay only 8% of of health insurance and will not see an increase to 9% until 2014. Kent will also continue to pay into our diversified accounts our retirement percentages and will continue to match our personal dieversified savings.
Into our contract we have negotiated many protections and benefits we did not enjoy before. We will be spending a lot of time educating our unit reps in effective methods of enforcing our rights and we will be working with management to make sure our rights are honored. Now that our contract is completed, we need to be turning our attention to our staffing needs and the increases in our inpatient population. Assuring that our patients are cared for appropriately and in a timely manner, from admission to discharge and total length of stay.
I continue to met with our Chief Nursing Officer, Rene Fischer. We discussed the challenges we all face in working to make Kent the best place to be a patient and the best place to practice the nursing profession. I will be meeting with your Executive Council monthly and all of your unit reps shortly thereafter on a monthly basis. Our goal is to identify the most pressing issues we face including staffing.
Finally, let me remind you that this is our Union - it belongs to all of the professional nursing staff at our hospital. It is now up to us to make our Union the best. I respect differences of opinion and those who may have a different view of things than I may have. Within the context of honest differences, lets move forward together. I have appreciated all of the efforts made by the UNAP staff assigned to us to organize our Union and help with bargaining for our second contract. Now it is up to all of us to take full control of our Union and move it effectively to address the issues most important to us. PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME WITH ANY CONCERNS OR QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE. THE QUICKEST WAY TO GET ME IS AT firstname.lastname@example.org .
Rosemarie A. Desnoyers, BS RN, IMCU