CINCINNATI, June 30, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of the Registered Nurses Association, a local union of the
"Both parties recognized and wanted resolution to these issues, which is why we were successful in bargaining a fair and reasonable contract that our members overwhelmingly agreed with," stated Jeannette Porter, RN, union president.
"We addressed a major concern with our old on-call system that, if continued, could have negatively impacted safe nurse staffing and patient care. On-call should be used for emergencies and unforeseen circumstances, like call-offs or influxes in patients. With the new contract language, on-call will only be used for such unanticipated situations instead of as a staffing tool that could lend itself to nurse fatigue," continued Porter. "As a deterrent for going back to the 'old way,' nurses will be paid a premium if they are called in for inappropriate situations. The hospital will now staff nurses appropriately from the start."
Nurse fatigue is a consequence of short staffing and/or long hours, both of which can compromise patient care. Insufficient staffing and long hours can lead to higher mortality rates and readmissions, and increase the likelihood of medical errors.
Pertaining to wages, Porter explained, "Because of the outstanding work of our member-led bargaining team, our members will realize an average of a 5.7% wage increase in the first year of the contract. Additionally, our nurses at the top of the wage scale will not only receive a base pay increase, but a one-time longevity bonus combined equals 2.5% of their salary."
Nurses who enter the float pool will also receive hefty pay differentials, ranging from an additional $10 to $20 per hour added to their base, depending upon the day and hours worked.
"Under the new terms, a four-year nurse who enters the float pool has the potential to realize an outstanding 82% increase in salary from what they are earning today," stated Porter.
The wage increases, float pool changes and on-call language are a huge win for both the union and the medical center, with Porter stating, "We pushed for these issues to be addressed so we could remain competitive with other hospitals in the area. Both parties want to keep quality and skilled nurses at UCMC, and the new contract will positively impact our recruitment and retention efforts," stated Porter.
The new agreement expires June 30, 2021 and goes into effect July 1, 2018.
About ONA: Formed in 1904, the Ohio Nurses Association is a powerful network of registered nurses who are committed to advancing nursing through education, political action and workplace advocacy. ONA is the leading voice of the approximately 190,000 professional registered nurses in Ohio. To become a member of the Ohio Nurses Association, visit www.ohnurses.org.
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SOURCE Ohio Nurses Association
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