Crozer-Chester Medical Center’s Last, Best, and Final Offer
We have been bargaining with PASNAP for more than a year, and we have attended 26 bargaining sessions. However, we are far from an agreement, and we appear to be hopelessly deadlocked over the core economic issues that matter the most.
It’s all about economics.
We were open and transparent from the first day of negotiations. We committed to bargaining in good faith, but the Medical Center’s “must haves” were economic concessions from the Union on wages, the wage scale, a one-year wage freeze, a change to the pension plan to control runaway costs, and other core economic issues. Nothing has changed since then.
The Medical Center continues to face financial challenges, and nurse wage rates – still the highest in Pennsylvania – are a key factor. Pension and other retirement obligations also threaten to push us to the breaking point. Without an agreement on these issues, there can be no agreement on a contract.
PASNAP would rather have no contract than one with the necessary concessions.
Rather than engage in meaningful and honest bargaining over the economic issues, the Union has engaged in surface bargaining, delay tactics, double talk and endless, futile discussions leading nowhere.
Highlights of Final Offer.
On April 17, we gave the Union our “Last, Best, and Final Offer” Package and we said we would give them a reasonable time to consider it. Here is a summary:
- A five year contract, including a five-year guarantee of no reduction in incumbent RNs’ current rates (red-circled rates);
- Continuation of step increases called for in the expired contract through June 8, 2015;
- A one-year wage freeze beginning June 9, 2015;
- A cost-competitive scale primarily for non-incumbent and less senior RNs with step increases for them and lump sum bonuses for eligible red-circled RNs;
- Entry of RNs into the proposed Crozer Choices Health Plan beginning May 1, 2015;
- Replacement of the Defined Benefit Pension by an enhanced Defined Contribution Retirement Plan as of July 1, 2015, a freeze of the Defined Benefit Pension, and an end to the costly Tax Sheltered Annuity Match, Retiree Medical and Life Insurance, and Payout of Sick Days to “grandfathered” nurses; and
- A Voluntary Lay-off Incentive Program with extended payments to December 31, 2015.
We also have other important proposals on a number of other issues, including, but not limited to weekends and elimination of certain pay premiums.
We intend to continue bargaining in good faith if the Union demonstrates a genuine interest in reaching an agreement that is economically viable for the Medical Center.