Contract Talks Stall Over Inequitable Salary Scale, Lack of Recognition for Professional Education and Below-Market Differentials
Monday, May 21, 2007 from 2 pm – 5 pm.
Outside the emergency room entrance to the hospital on Main St., Wareham, MA.
The registered nurses of Tobey Hospital in Wareham will conduct informational picketing outside the main entrance to the facility on Monday, May 21, 2007 from 2 pm – 5 pm. Negotiations for a new union contract have stalled over the hospital’s refusal to correct inequities in the placement of nurses on the agreed upon salary scale, below market differentials paid to nurses working on-call and on the night shift and the hospital’s refusal to establish differentials recognizing the level of professional education achieved by nurses.
Southcoast Hospitals Group is doing everything it can to show they don’t value or respect the nursing staff at Tobey, particularly very experienced, highly skilled nurses who have given years of service to the hospital through good times and bad.. The key issue in dispute has little to do with the granting of new raises to most nurses, but on making sure that nurses are getting paid based on their years of experience. Nurses who have been hired in recent years have received appropriate credit for their nursing experience when placed on the salary scale. But nurses who have worked at Tobey for many years, and who agreed to salary freezes when Tobey was in trouble financially, now find that they are being paid thousands of dollars less than new hires who have the same experience.
The other key issue is the hospital’s refusal to pay a degree differential for nurses who achieve either a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in nursing. The hospital has also refused to pay a certification differential. Tobey’s refusal to encourage and reward the professional development of its staff has cost them more than the respect of its nurses. Tobey, which spent more than $100,000 this past year to achieve so-called “Magnet” designation (special certification for its nursing program) was denied the designation in large part due to its inability to recognize or encourage professional advancement or certification for its nursing staff.
Sharon Barsano, RN (508) 866-9542
Cindy McManus (781) 830-5774
David Schildmeier (781) 249-0430