Bargaining Unit Updates
From the Massachusetts Nurse Newsletter
May 2009 Edition
The bargaining unit nurses at Tobey Hospital barely ratified a memorandum of agreement with the hospital as part of an economic reopener for the third year of their contract. The agreement was reached at mediation after spending six months at the bargaining table. The agreement provided a 3.5 percent new step at the top of the pay scales for staff nurses and resource nurses. The new step was effective Oct. 1, 2008 with nurses at the top of the scale moving to the new step on their anniversary dates after the effective date. It also increased Steps 1 and 2 by 2 percent. Tobey Hospital agreed that if Southcoast Hospitals Group adjusted the wages for registered nurses at Charlton Hospital or St. Luke’s Hospital, they would increase the wage rates for similarly situated registered nurses at Tobey Hospital. Tobey nurses on Steps 3 to 18 were not happy with Southcoast’s insistence that there would be no across-the-board increase or additional moneys added to their steps. The medical/surgical units are consistently experiencing high volume without appropriate staffing, and Southcoast’s willingness to increase wages for the least experienced nurses was seen as short-sighted and wrong.
The Morton Hospital bargaining unit has reached an agreement with the hospital on a wage reopener. Initially management had also been demanding costly changes in the health insurance but the nurses were able to fight these off. Under the agreement staff nurses will receive a new 2 percent step on the top of the wage scale. There will also be an increase in the on call rate to $4.25 per hour.