Issue 16 - SEIU Economic Counter Proposal Continues to Add Millions

Issue 16 - SEIU Economic Counter Proposal Continues to Add Millions

More Work Needed by SEIU to find Their Fair Share of $200 Million in Cost Savings

SEIU presented their economic counter proposal, continuing to disregard the challenging economic reality Swedish is facing. The Union’s counter proposal only reduces their original wage increases by one percent in year’s two and three, which is nowhere close to a fair share. Swedish looks forward to seeing a realistic economic proposal from SEIU that puts forward a shared attempt at savings, not significant cost increases.

Swedish Proposes Processes to Ensure Employee Rest Breaks

SEIU responded to Swedish’s rest break proposal by recognizing the proactive attempt by management to ensure that all employees get their much deserved rest breaks. The goal of Swedish’s proposal is to create a procedure to ensure that all employees get their rest breaks while ensuring the best quality patient care. There is no “one size fits all” policy because various units and departments need the flexibility to find the right solution and practice for their unit.

Additional Proposals to Clarify Language and Update Contracts

Swedish presented a counter proposal to create more equitable and standardized practices for callback procedures. A second counter proposal would improve efficiency and timeliness of grievance procedures. A new proposal would formalize the graduate nurse role within the Nurse Residency program. Further clarification was provided on a proposal outlining the Nursing Staffing Committee. Swedish agreed to share their nursing strategic plan annually.

Progress on Healthcare Benefits

The health care benefits subcommittee has been hard at work and making good progress on redesigning the health care plan. The benefits issues will be discussed at the next bargaining session on August 23.

Questions or Comments?

As always, we appreciate hearing from you. Please feel free to submit questions or feedback to negotiationnews@swedish.org or here at www.swedish.org/negotiationsnews

Comments
Brianna Wilson, MN, RN (ICU)
I have a suggestion that several other nurses agree to......

We all understand the financial concerns Swedish has regarding what this recession has done to the community we serve and the stresses that Medicare and Medicaid have on the welfare of our hospital. I know i really enjoy working at Swedish and the support that is given to us through our benefits.

My suggestion is ..... there needs to be compromise.

Keep our step increase.....this is a major factor and rewards us for our experience and our dedicated work to our patients. This only happens once a year and will continue to allow us to "gain experience" and be competitive with other hospitals.

Hold our biannual wage increase for 2-3 years....this is the cost of living increase and as the economy stinks right now this is understandable and i think we can do without as long as we have our yearly increase for steps.

Keep our benefits the same as far as what we pay out of pocket for us and our families. Maybe do like you say and figure out ways to cut back on some of the package but overall.....we need to support the health of us and our families. If Swedish starts making me pay for this then i will get insurance through UW as a student which is no where near the quality but if I change then I get get paid more from Swedish in lieu of insurance. Others do not have this possibility.

Taking away the bi-annual wage increase is still A LOT of money for how many employees they have over the next 3 years.

I guarantee Swedish......if they are doing what has been talking about and cutting all three out.......PEOPLE WILL LEAVE! They MUST support the backbone of their institution. Without a stable spine and structure....Swedish quality and consistency will crumble. Nurses are already looking elsewhere so please find some compromise.
8/20/2011 6:08:16 PM
Mary Seabeck
Hello Melissa,
I look forward to hearing or reading in print a phrase that
more appropriately or meaningfully describes our newest campus.
Thank-you,

Mary Seabeck
Pt Registration
8/15/2011 6:24:07 PM
Melissa Tizon
Mary,

Thanks for your comment. It’s not our intent to diminish the work of older generations or the contributions of our other campuses. Rather, it was meant as a way to describe how innovative and different the new facility is. However, we see your point and will keep it in mind in future communications about our Issaquah campus.

- Melissa Tizon, communications director, Swedish
8/15/2011 1:40:33 PM
Mary Seabeck
I must comment on something that has been bothering me for some
time now. (It has been mentioned again in Issue #16) I find the slogan
"Not your Father's Hospital" to be disrespectful and quite insensitive.

This year we celebrated the 100th anniversary of Swedish Medical
Center First Hill Campus.For many of us in the "ageing workforce"
this is our Father's Hospital.

From our Father's Hospital came amazing pioneers in the field of Medicine. Breakthroughs in vaccines for Polio,Cholera,Influenza,
Hepatitis, Bubonic Plague, Measles, Mumps, as well as the development of Penicillin and Insulin. Also equipment such as
the portable defibrillator, laser scalpel, balloon catheters, pacemakers and fetal monitors. Life saving inventions.......

The slogan "Not your Father's Hospital" sends a rather negative message that we don't appreciate and are not grateful for the amazing work done by the generation before us. (Done in most cases without the use of computers, cellphones or fancy facilities.)
Perhaps a more fitting statement would have been that "We can only
hope that our achievements can match our Father's Hospital and that 100 years from now our contributions will be remembered and appreciated.

I am the Daughter of a 94 year old Purple Heart Veteran. His, is not
called the Greatest Generation for nothing.
8/15/2011 1:17:05 PM
Wowed
The employees fair share,, and yes we the employees are seiu1199.
We have administrators that will make more this year than many of us employees will make in our entire lifetimes!
We are told the orginization must cut 200 million in operating costs yet they just told the Department of Health and Snohomish County that they have the capital and projected income to pay 600,000 a month and 150 million in improvements over the next 10 years for a "lease" on Swedish Edmonds, They just built the 30 million dollar free standing E.R. in mill creek not to mention Redmond, or the new hospital in Issaquah or the pending contract with Olympic medical center, Jefferson Healthcare & Forks community hospital.
I have never heard of any company or orginization in this level of growth, increasing this many employees and expecting to cut the budget. I truly don't think it's possible and when the administration says that's the plan,,, all I can say is Wow!
8/15/2011 4:15:00 AM
upset rn
what it sounds like to me is that swedish took out a line of credit (bond sale) to "pay for" and build the new Hotel in Issaquah. And like any abled-body American, one would hope to pay off credit as soon as possible within reasonable income. Then again Swedish was way over it's means when they decided to go ahead. And now here we are, the frontline workers for the organization, loosing our "fair share" for the "new normal"...

this is short of appaling and even moreso abusive. and this crap of different funds for different things is also a bunch of bologna if you ask me. money is money.
8/14/2011 10:35:26 PM
GE
My fair share? I wasn't able to share the 2 million Swedish gave the CEO in his pension last year. Nor was I given the vote to expand swedish to Issaquah. Although I agree that the expansion was and will be an extremely viable option for Swedish, maybe WA state should have given it to Overlake b/c at this point, Swedish seems to think they should expand on their employees backs. We back and supported Swedish to the state to give the cert of need to us, now I regret the support. I will think long and hard before ever supporting Swedish again in any expansion they may see fit to acquire. Other local hospitals have given their employees raises in recent settlements and given improved health care coverage. Shame on Swedish, those hospitals would give their eye teeith to have the financial stability Swedish has. When inquired by people I met in the community, I inform them how Swedish Managment treats their employees, horridly, nor can I in good conscious tell them Swedish cares, well, at least upper managment doesn't , the RN's, Tech, and S/M all care and the community already knows this as I find out when I talk to people.
8/13/2011 5:56:42 PM
Allen S
Not entirely true.
While it is true that the bond sale proceeds did not impact Swedish's operating income.
However, the debt service payments (repaying the principal and interest) will reduce Swedish's operating income - as well as the millions in depreciation on the facility.

Someone in Strategic Planning made the informed decision to trade off some other expenses (could it be salaries and benefits?) to fund this debt service.

Please be factual in your representations.
8/13/2011 10:50:52 AM
Swedish Bargaining Team
@None:

The funds we use to build facilities are different, and separate, from the funds used to pay staff and day to day operations. To pay for Issaquah, Swedish took out $250 million in loans through a bond sale, using proceeds from our bond sale to finance the construction. None of the money to build Issaquah came from our operating fund, the money we use for day-to-day operations, including employee wages and benefits.

Healthcare is changing and the way people access care is changing. As you may have seen recently in the June 1st article in The Seattle Times, Swedish Issaquah is “not your father’s hospital.” As patients seek care closer to their homes and as density increases in the suburbs around Seattle, it is critical that Swedish adopts a growth strategy that matches these trends. Opening Issaquah will help Swedish provide better patient care while creating new jobs and opportunities for current and future health care workers.
8/12/2011 2:28:57 PM
millie
Negotiation - "mutual" discussion and arrangement of the terms of a transaction or agreement.

SEIU presented a revised wage increase proposal. Now it's management's turn.

That's negotiating!

Show us employees are "valued" and that is not just verbage.
8/10/2011 6:51:02 PM
None
To: Whoever reads this,

Since all the rhetoric regarding the employee “choice” of pension v. 401(k) for non-contractual employees a few years back, I find most of this to be one-sided propaganda… I love my job, and will always give 110% because it is my livelihood, but it is what it is.
8/10/2011 4:07:33 PM
ananymous
Swedish needs to remember that their employees and our union workers helped to lobby for Swedish to get the certificate for need for Issaquah. Swedish needs to stop being so greedy and reward their workers for backing Swedish. Word of mouth travels fast and the reason why we love Swedish is because of the care that is given by our co-workers. If our co-workers leave or we leave Swedish is less of a place and more of a giant greedy entity. It may have been better for Overlake to have gotten that certificate of need if all that they care about is money rather than keeping the employees that keep Swedish great.
Swedish is not great because of the care the executive give, it is the employees. There are many disgruntled employees and though everyone may not be able to leave many have been looking for other places to work closer to home or have already left, as I have seen in my department.
It is very sad that Swedish is going down hill so much
8/10/2011 4:04:25 PM
employee
Since when did SEIU have to save "its fair share"? We didn't make any of the decisions to build bigger hospitals, newer hospitals, or pay over paid CEOs/administrators huge bonuses. Wheres my share of that?! May be, those senoir leaders could lead the way, like some other CEOs, give the bonus money back and save Swedish!!! The board are as guilty also.
8/10/2011 2:32:07 PM
fair share employee
What exactly is my "fair share" ??? Will the hipocrisy ever end?
Good to know about labor patients getting pedicures at Issaquah while in labor. Will the money ever stop pouring out of the Swedish wallet for Issaquah?

I have calculated my years of employment at Swedish to my rate
of pay per hour and it comes out to 69 cents per hour per year
of experience. I am more than willing to donate my "fair share" to
Swedish. Would you like the 69 cents in check form or just the coinage?

Come on Swedish! Stop relying on those who show up to work
each and every day and put in maximum effort to do the very best job they can. I am sure that there is no need to remind Swedish that in this day of economic hardship, every penny counts. Please use
my 69 cents wisely on a necessity and not a frivolity such as pedicures or an outrageously expensive horticulture project.

Note to Swedish: The rules of this BLOG state that CAPS are not
permitted. Most of your comments to employees have FELT as if they were written in CAPS. Please stop yelling at us.
8/8/2011 5:06:51 PM
fair share employee
What exactly is my "fair share" ??? Will the hipocrisy ever end?
Good to know about labor patients getting pedicures at Issaquah while in labor. Will the money ever stop pouring out of the Swedish wallet for Issaquah?

I have calculated my years of employment at Swedish to my rate
of pay per hour and it comes out to 69 cents per hour per year
of experience. I am more than willing to donate my "fair share" to
Swedish. Would you like the 69 cents in check form or just the coinage?

Come on Swedish! Stop relying on those who show up to work
each and every day and put in maximum effort to do the very best job they can. I am sure that there is no need to remind Swedish that in this day of economic hardship, every penny counts. Please use
my 69 cents wisely on a necessity and not a frivolity such as pedicures or an outrageously expensive horticulture project.

Note to Swedish: The rules of this BLOG state that CAPS are not
permitted. Most of your comments to employees have FELT as if they were written in CAPS. Please stop yelling at us.
8/8/2011 5:03:55 PM
Mark Balvin
Weimar Institute in California has an excellent model for preventative health that could be advantageous in helping Swedish keep staff medical costs down.
8/8/2011 2:26:23 PM
none
Please,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the challenging economic reality Swedish is facing,..!!!! Really. then the facility at Issauah should of been put on hold instead of taking everything away from the employees to pay for it .

Typical "back-stepping" behavior to make the union look bad.
8/8/2011 12:25:14 PM
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