2008 News

Worcester school nurses ratify contract with 8 percent pay increase

08.15.2008

From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
July/August 2008 Edition

Caritas Photo
Worcester Public School Nurses: Seated, from left, Robin Bazzinet, Cathy Watterson and Karen Hanlon, co-chairs; Donna Ewick, secretary; Mary Joliceur. Standing from left, Maryann Ludy; Nicole Kazarian, treasurer; Andrea Fox, MNA associate director.
 

It took 17 sessions over a 16-month period, butt Worcester School Nurses, represented by the MNA, have completed and ratified a contract that was slated to expire on June 30.

The contract, entered into between the Worcester School Committee and the MNA, provides incremental wage increases of 8 percent over the three-year period and longevity payments beginning after 10 years of service.

“The RNs with the Worcester School Nurses went above and beyond throughout these long and difficult negotiations,” said Andrea Fox, associate director, Labor Action Division at MNA, noting that the majority of the 17 negotiation sessions were with the assistance of the state mediator’s office. “But because of their determination and commitment a contract has finally been ratified.”

The pact includes these key provisions:

  • Salary increases. Provides an across the board 2.5 percent increase in the first year; a 2.5 percent increase in the second year; and 3 percent in the third year.
  • Longevity payments. A new provision stipulates longevity payments for nurses who have served more than 10 years in the employment of the Worcester Public Schools.
  • Mitigation monies. In the amount of $1,350 to offset the costs of agreeing to the new health insurance plan. Worcester school nurses ratify contract with 8 percent pay increase Worcester Public School Nurses: Seated, from left, Robin Bazzinet, Cathy Watterson and Karen Hanlon, co-chairs; Donna Ewick, secretary; Mary Joliceur. Standing from left, Maryann Ludy; Nicole Kazarian, treasurer; Andrea Fox, MNA associate director.
  • Improvements to the leaves of absence benefits. Including a paid day off to attend the nurses’ graduation from college.
  • Triage language. A new provision that states in the event a nurse is not in the building, he/she will not be required to assess a student by telephone.
  • Quarantine time. Allows nurses who have been exposed to a contagious illness or disease at work to take the required amount of “quarantine” time off without it being applied against sick time.

“We are pleased to have reached an agreement that recognizes the value of registered nurses and the vital role we play in delivering first-rate care to children in the Worcester School system,” said Cathy Watterson, RN, co-chair of nurses’ local bargaining unit. “It was a hard-fought two years but a considerable amount of excellent language is in the contract.”

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