March 28, 2008
Enloe Medical Center, SEIU meet to discuss economic issues
WHAT: In recent continuing negotiations, Enloe Medical Center and the Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) have entered into discussions about economic issues for their pending collective bargaining agreement. Tentative agreement has been reached on some elements of the proposal for Classification and Wages, including such topics as when paychecks are issued; provision for performance evaluations; as well as employee discounts for cafeteria meals and discounts on services provided by Enloe Medical Center, which will continue according to Enloe’s current practice.
Agreement has not yet been reached on wages, but both sides have made proposals. Enloe is committed to a compensation and benefits package that attracts and retains qualified employees. On March 18, Enloe proposed salary ranges that provide an average increase of 4.78 percent upon ratification of the contract, with an additional 2 percent increase in each of the second and third years of the contract. The proposal is based on a recent salary survey of North State hospitals including St. Elizabeth Community Hospital, Mercy Medical Center - Redding, Oroville Hospital, Feather River Hospital, Shasta Regional Medical Center and Fremont-Rideout Health Group.
In a prior session, the union proposed a three-year wage increase of 49 percent, adding about $19.4 million to Enloe’s current costs. This proposal is more than 10 percent above the union’s definition of “industry standards.” SEIU’s “industry standards” definition is based on fewer hospitals and excludes hospitals closest to Enloe. Enloe’s definition includes all of the hospitals in our geographic region.
The union is considering Enloe’s wage proposal and said it would respond with a counterproposal by the March 31 bargaining session. Enloe eagerly awaits this response, which is an important step in completing negotiations and implementing a contract. Enloe also awaits the resolution of the outstanding non-economic items that the union requested be set aside during earlier sessions.
Tentative agreements, for the most part, will form the sections of the collective bargaining agreement that cover the terms and working conditions of the 636 Enloe employees represented by SEIU in the Service Unit.
WHEN: Bargaining has taken place three to four times a month since it began in May 2007.
WHO: Enloe representatives are the Vice President of Human Resources, Enloe’s labor attorney and four Enloe directors.
NEXT STEPS: Bargaining dates have been set through April 2008.
Enloe Medical Center is a local, nonprofit health care organization. For more information, please call 530/332-7300 or visit us online at http://www.enloe.org. Enloe Medical Center is located at 1531 Esplanade Chico, Calif. 95926.