Friday, July 18, 2014

Nurses' Unions Agree to Weak Contract, Following UFT's Precedent

Now the city has weak contracts three and four after, as unions of nurse and health care aides agreed to contracts that feature payments stretched years into the future, with raises that will most likely not keep pace with inflation. As Richard Steier reported in The Chief in newspaer's July 4, 2014 edition, the New York State Nurses Association has its contract stretched four and one-half months beyond the length of the United Federation of Teachers contract. The SIEU 1199 contract also settled its contract.

In both contracts full implementation of pay increases will be postponed to the latter years of the contract. Both contracts include two four percent increases in 2009 and 2010.

1199 supported Bill de Blasio early in his mayoral election last year. They represent 2,500 members working for the city, as licensed practical nurses, pharmacists and dieticians. The NYSNA represents 8,000 registered nurses working for New York City's Health and Hospital Corporation.

Anne Bove, executive council president of the NYSNA argued that one provision of the NYSNA contract was popular. It includes a child-care and elder-care fund; these features are aspects in the 1199 fund also. The NYSNA pact also includes Nursing Practice Councils, to improve patient care, nurse recruitment and retention.

Here are the delayed payments to the health care unions, paralleling the UFT contract, as reported by "The Chief:"
In addition to the two 4-percent raises, with their large retroactive balances, that are being paid out in four increments beginning in July 2015, the schedule for subsequent raises under the contract for NYSNA is as follows:

• 1 percent effective retroactive to July 21, 2013, and then the same percentage on July 21, 2014 and 2015;
• A 1.5-percent hike as of July 21, 2016;
• A 2.5 percent increase effective Jan. 21, 2018;
• A 3-percent wage boost as of Jan. 21, 2019.

1199 Payouts
For 1199, the schedule is somewhat different, starting with the implementation of the two 4-percent raises occurring in February of four consecutive years beginning in 2015. The other increases will occur as follows:

• A 0.35-percent hike retroactive to Feb. 5, 2013;
• 1-percent raises effective on both Feb. 5, 2014 and 2015;
• A 1.5-percent increase as of Feb. 5, 2016; • A 2.5-percent raise starting Feb. 5, 2017; • A 3-percent salary boost effective Feb. 5, 2018.