Union members at Bordeaux Long Term Care celebrate their first union contract with Signature Healthcare.
Union members working at Bordeaux Long Term Care in Nashville voted overwhelmingly to ratify the first collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between Local 205 and Bordeaux’s new private owner, Signature Healthcare.
The agreement covers a three-year period but does not go into effect until the Metro Council votes to approve the facility’s lease agreement, which is expected to occur in October. The ratification happened after a long campaign in which members reached out to community and clergy to rally support and to raise awareness of the struggles they faced at Bordeaux.
“Our bargaining committee was awesome and we did not give up,” said Alicia Halliburton, a Certified Nursing Assistant who’s worked at Bordeaux for nearly five years. “There were days we were frustrated, but we kept fighting. We all realize now that we are stronger together.”
A few highlights from the new agreement include:
Salary Increases. Employees will receive pay adjustments reflecting their total years of experience in the first year of the contract. All employees get 3% raises in 2nd and 3rd years of the contract. Employees who are “topped out” get a 3% raise.
Benefits. The employer-funded life insurance policies increase from $10,000 to $20,000. Employees carrying health insurance will be reimbursed for a 2016 rate increase which settles an unfair labor practice charge. The company will alsoprovide affordable medical, dental, vision, and disability benefits.
Grievance & Arbitration Procedures. A mutually acceptable process to address contract disputes and complaints. Unresolved grievances can go to a neutral arbitrator who hears both sides and the issues a decision.
Disciplinary Procedures. Signature must have “just cause” for discipline and discipline must be issued promptly and without unreasonable delay.
Workforce Development. The creation of a joint Labor/Management committee to monitor and support best practices for efficiency, productivity, and good morale. The committee will meet every two months to discuss employee concerns like staffing and scheduling.
There are other new provisions in the contract related to work scheduling, limits on mandatory weekend work, assigning overtime, and a new attendance policy. Workers also are able to “cash out” their unused paid time off (“PTO”) instead of losing it at the end of the year. Shift differentials for all classifications, which the company proposed to eliminate or cut, will remain in place. For some workers these differentials add up to over $50 a week
“The raises we negotiated are long overdue and I am thrilled at the great contract we have now,” said Licensed Practical Nurse Malinda Robertson -Jacox. “One of the things I think is a major step forward is the new Labor/Management committee structure to deal with the issues we face on the floor every day.”
“We are very happy with this outcome. Our patience and determination paid off. SEIU and our members on the staff at Bordeaux look forward to working with Signature and Metro to continue providing quality long term care to our community,” said Brad Rayson, President of SEIU Local 205.
Signature Healthcare has been operating Nashville Community Care and Rehabilitation Center at Bordeaux since May 1, 2014.