We met on April 1 with the PASNAP bargaining committee in an attempt to reach a settlement based on the “Best Offer” we presented to the Union on February 17, 2015.
This “Best Offer” is still on the table and it includes:
- An improved Defined Contribution Plan to replace the Defined Benefit Plan.
- An improved Health Insurance proposal that caps yearly increases over the life of the contract.
- Continued payment of step increases up through June 8, 2015, based on the expired contract.
- A one-year freeze on wage increases lasting from 2015-16. Most Crozer employees – from management on down – have already had a two-year wage freeze.
- Step increases for RNs within the new wage scale for the rest of the contract.
- Senior nurses over the scale would have their current rates protected for the life of the contract. Those not eligible for steps would receive lump sum bonuses.
- A Voluntary Lay-off/Early Retirement incentive (VERP) program.
In yesterday’s session, the Medical Center agreed to nearly all of the Union’s demands regarding unpaid leave and vacation.
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We tried to make progress toward an agreement on the economic “must haves,” such as pay scales, increases, pay premiums, weekend program, pension, retiree health and life insurance, tax shelter annuity and health insurance. Without an agreement on these issues, we do not believe a settlement is possible.
Rather than honestly tackling the issues, the Union tried hard to dodge them. When we asked the Union bargaining team for its position, it engaged in “surface bargaining” and refused to plainly say it accepted or rejected our proposals. When we asked the Union bargaining team to explain what would convince them to accept certain proposals, they vaguely said it would depend on “everything,” or the Medical Center dropping all of its proposals.
While the Union refuses to admit it, after a strike, 26 sessions, and a year of bargaining, we are close to a “bargaining impasse” or “deadlock.” We believe the Union can only avoid a deadlock by coming to the table prepared to make significant movement.
More information regarding the legal definition and impact of an “impasse” is available here.