QNCD Committee members gave updates about staffing at JHS hospitals. They reported that staffing is trending in the right direction at Jackson North. However, there are staffing challenges at Jackson South due to several issues. Among them, an increase in the census as well as maternity leaves and call-ins. Jackson Main is also working to address staffing issues. The goal is to hire ten more RN’s soon and drill down more on staffing of each unit at monthly meetings.
The committee also discussed the utilization of PL (personal leave) time to ensure it meets the needs of employees and management. One concern raised was that some PL requests are not denied or approved, they’re left eternally on hold. The new contract includes language that commits to monitoring denials of PL time. Management plans to explore the possibility of monitoring all PL requests.
Higher pay, as usual, ranked as a top issue among members who completed the survey. The Bargaining Team made this issue a priority and found creative ways to put more money in everyone’s pocket.
Here’s a list of the financial gains we won!
Insurance and Wellness
You’ll still have several high quality and affordable health insurance plans. No changes for Jackson First. But skyrocketing healthcare costs prompted the need for nominal increases for some plans. However the Bargaining Team was able to keep the premium increases low and extend the HMO High/Standard option for another year. A new Wellness Program will reward you for adopting healthy habits.
Everyone got something in this contract, including part-time and per diem workers who will benefit from new conversion language. There are other enhancements that will help protect members and give professionals more release time.
PL and Extended Illness
We were able to fight back against Management’s push for extensive changes to vacation and PL practices. As a result, there will be only a few changes.
Corrective Action Process
We had our second bargaining session on Thursday, June 29, from 9 am to 5 pm at the SEIU 1991 office. We continue working very collaboratively with management for the benefit of our patients and our members. Our collective goal is to find efficiencies that will provide our members with the greatest benefits at the most efficient cost structure for the sake of Jackson’s sustainability. With that goal in mind, this session focused on the details for creating a wellness program, which an overwhelming majority of you have supported in your surveys.
While we all agree that a wellness program would add value and improve the health of our members, management is making proposals to change our PL and Extended ILL banks and rules. Your bargaining team needs your involvement. If you haven’t yet completed it, please take just a few minutes to complete your survey today. We also encourage everyone to attend negotiations. The next bargaining session takes place on July 17 at SEIU 1991 (1601 NW 8th Ave., Miami, FL 33136). Bargaining for nurses and healthcare professionals takes place from 10 am to 3 pm, with bargaining for attending physicians happening from 3 pm to 6 pm.
During Thursday’s session, members came and participated directly, engaging in the bargaining process and sharing their thoughts with the team. Gina Corbett, CRNA, attended bargaining negotiations for the first time and commented on how collaborative the process seemed to be. Music Therapist Stephanie Epstein and Child Life Specialist Beda Willis also attended the bargaining session and had the opportunity to share their perspectives and their great work in Holtz Children’s Hospital with the bargaining team and management.
Members also took action on protecting the Affordable Care Act at lunchtime, making calls to voters in other states and urging them to contact their Senators. The current Senate bill would gut Medicaid, hurting our patients and risking millions of healthcare jobs. Jackson would be especially vulnerable, since up to 40% of our patients are covered by Medicaid. Get involved by calling Sen. Marco Rubio at 866-426-2631 anytime.
The opening bargaining session for the 2017-2020 contract took place on Monday, June 26, from 9 pm to 5 pm at DTC 259. “We’re taking a new approach this year,” said SEIU 1991 President Martha Baker, RN. “We want to make the process as productive as possible for our members so we can continue to deliver high quality care for our patients.”
With a focus on collaboration, and no attorneys present for the initial session, the negotiations created an environment where members could freely talk about their concerns. One of our joint initiatives, which 90% of survey participants expressed interest in, was a wellness program that we will work collaboratively to create.
Management did a presentation on the wellness program as part of our initial discussions. Topics also included improvements in insurance options, instituting a “Just Culture,” pay scale adjustments for many job classes, and increased per diem rates. Representatives from AFSCME and CIR joined us for the session.
Guiding the discussions were the results of the Bargaining Survey. All members are encouraged to complete their surveys as soon as possible, and to tell fellow members to do the same. The survey takes less than 10 minutes and will let us know your priorities, including raises, staffing levels, job classifications, and much more.
The next bargaining session is on Thursday, June 29, from 9 am to 5 pm at SEIU Local 1991 (1601 NW 8th Ave., Miami, FL 33136). Everyone is welcome to attend!
All three contracts have been approved by our members, the Public Health Trust and the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners. The contract goes into effect on December 3, 2017.
It’s a strong contract that includes pay raises for everyone, no increases to Jackson First and very affordable premiums for the other insurance plans during the life of the agreement and a variety of contract enhancements. The financial gains are noteworthy especially when you consider the county is offering no Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). Despite this challenge, your Bargaining Team was able to secure pay adjustments for everyone in one of three ways: market adjustments that range from 3% to double digits for certain job classes, added steps at the top for other job classes or a 2% adjustment to base for all other job classes that do not receive either a market adjustment or steps at top. There is a make up step for 291 employees who missed two steps during the recession, were hired prior to 2010 and have remained in the same job classification. Staff Nurse per diem rates will jump up to $37/$40 per hour which will be paid retroctively to October 1, 2106. We also won time and half for professional per diems who work holidays—same as RNs. Charge pay will increase to $2.50 per hour and a new premium pay of $5 per hour for times of emergent nurse staffing as determined by management will be implemented upon ratification. These are just a few of the reasons why this contract will benefit you and your family.
This was the second spot check conducted by the union to gauge compliance with the new staffing ratios article in the contract.
Holtz Hospital made the most progress, meeting ratios 95% of the time and having the charge nurse free of assignment 99% of the time.
At Jackson North, after opening the sixth floor, staffing issues in the two telemetry units pulled down the numbers for the hospital as a whole. Management is challenged with hiring staff for the third and sixth floors and is also creating a float pool.
At Jackson South, staffing struggled to keep up with increased patient volumes, especially in the ICU and worked to handle daily issues.
The Quality Nursing and Career Development Committee (QNCD) met on March 15 to review the data. This was an opportunity for frontline RNs and management to discuss the challenges and suggest solutions related to staffing.
Management and union members talked creatively about several strategies to improve retention and recruitment, as we all agree the solution is to hire and retain qualified nurses.
Local 1991 President Marker Baker, RN, urged management to increase efforts to utilize our own nurses to market the many unique benefits of Jackson. Other committee members spoke about the need for more unit-based nurse educators to help train all the new hires. Several other strategies discussed related to per diem employees, sign-on bonuses and more.
Find more details of the QNCD meeting here.
A joint labor and management project to make lifting and handling patients at Jackson safer will soon be implemented for the first units to receive ceiling lifts and mobile equipment.
The energy was palpable in DTC Oct. 29 and 30, as Jackson management and SEIU Local 1991 members launched an exciting new partnership to transform Jackson’s culture into one of constant learning and collaboration at all levels.
The Quality Nursing and Career Development Committee launched its first meeting Feb. 20 to begin improving staffing ratios throughout the system.
Local 1991 negotiated new nurse-to-patient staffing ratios in the 2014-2017 contract.
The timing couldn’t be better. Patient volumes are up in many areas, which is good news, but also means more short-term staffing challenges.
The QNCD Committee, comprised of Local 1991 members and JHS management, will meet on a regular basis to discuss, prioritize and monitor the process of implementing the new ratios unit by unit.
The contract calls for the new ratios to be in place in at least 50% of units by April 1, 2015, and in all by Oct. 1, 2015. Click here for more information.
The QNCD Committee represents a true partnership between front-line employees and management and is a huge victory for us, our patients, and better quality care at JHS.
Meanwhile, Local 1991members have been steadily working with management at all levels to improve the number of posted positions. Posts are up by 20%, with priorities in the ICUs, ORs and ERs.