Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Negotiations got off to a productive start on Monday with both sides making initial, non-economic proposals (wages and benefit issues are typically held back until some of the easier issues are addressed).  The INA put forward proposals to address workload and scheduling concerns raised by our members through the surveys and face-to-face meetings.  Specifically, the union proposed prohibiting mandatory overtime and increases to shift lengths without mutual agreement.  A union proposal would result in one additional holiday offeach year and more meaningful observance of holidays for night shift nurses.  The union also proposed making pattern schedules permanentunless changes are agreed.  Another union proposal would free nurses from having to find their own substitutes for weekend vacations.  Also, the union proposed extending break times.

Another important issue the union is addressing in negotiations is Hospital Excused time.  The union has proposed prohibiting involuntary HE once a shift starts.  We have also proposed a system that would distribute the burden of mandatory HE more fairly and would also allow you to use EIB when HE’d.

We believe some progress has already been made towards:
* additional protections for probationary employees;
* additional notice prior to a lay off;
* additional recall rights if laid off;
* more fairness when a nurse faces discipline; and
* advance notice prior to being pulled to another unit.

Of course, no tentative agreements can be implemented until all issues have been resolved and, ultimately, you will have the final say on the contract as a whole. 

But not everything was sweetness and light at the bargaining table. St. Joes has proposed:
* taking away guaranteed rest breaks;
* counting preceptees in the staffing count; and
* taking away the right to become a CCRT rather than be laid off.

Two of those proposals will lead to more overwork and the other lessens our job security. We will fight back against any proposal that contributes to being overworked by St. Joes!  We will continue to defend job security at the bargaining table!

What about wages and benefits?
All the items mentioned above are important, but most of our members are anxious to know what is going to happen to salaries and benefits.  It is typical in negotiations to resolve as many “non-economic” issues as possible before addressing “economic” proposals.  Rest assured, economic proposals will be exchanged in the coming weeks.  The next bargaining session is on January 23.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Negotiations for a new contract begin on Monday, January 13!  We're all expecting these negotiations to be difficult. Before the first proposals were even exchanged, a fight was necessary to get management to agree to ground rules that would treat the INA bargaining team with respect and as equals.  Previous negotiations were disrupted by managers receiving and responding to calls at the bargaining table.  After initially resisting the Bargaining Team's demand to shut off their phones, we were finally able to get them to agree and focus on negotiations.

The INA is anxious for negotiations to begin.  We know you are overworked, underpaid, and disrespected. We’re ready to present and fight for proposals that will address the concerns expressed by you in the contract surveys and at meetings.  But, if these negotiations prove to be as tough as we anticipate, we will need you to help us accomplish our goals. 

Check back here on Tuesday for an update.

When 800 members speak as one, we will get what we deserve!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Being overweight is truly disturbing, especially if we are highly preoccupied with the way we look. It can stop us from fitting into the clothes we like, and make us feel bad and unattractive. Even worse, having more weight than we normally should have can affect our health. That is why, for the sake of our looks and health, we should take care of our eating and drinking habits and change our life style. We will notice the difference after a while and realize all the effort is worth it.
I say effort because it is never easy to follow a diet, work out every day, and stick to the plan. Probably the hardest part of all it is giving up all the food and beverage we are used to. The problem is that some of the food and drinks we really like are harmful to us. Junk food is on top of most people's preferences, but it is also responsible of them gaining a lot of weight in a short time, that is why, it is the first thing we need to give up when we start a diet. It will be hard to walk on the street and notice people eating a burger when we know we are not allowed to, but we must remember that a strong motivation is the key to success. Along with the harmful food there are the harmful drinks that enlarge our stomach and help the fat deposit in our body. Soda is the first beverage we need to eliminate from our daily routine. Not only it is completely unnatural, but it also contains a lot of sugar and most of the times it has more calories than a healthy meal. It is a well-known fact that soda enlarges our stomach, which is another thing to be concerned about.
Scientist have proven through several studies made on human organism that it is better to replace soda with water, which is easier to eliminate and it won't be responsible for enlarging stomach either. That is why, in order to take care of both our health and looks, it is best we get rid of soda.
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