The following article, originally published in Bloomberg Law by Louis C. LaBrecque, covers the recent developments of IAEP Local R1-701 contract negotiations at Bristol Hospital in Connecticut.
Reproduced with permission. April 23, 2018. Copyright 2018 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) <http://www.bna.com>
Bristol Hospital EMT Union Says Meeting Could Resolve Dispute (1)
BY LOUIS C. LABRECQUE
A union that represents about 80 emergency medical technicians at Bristol Hospital in Connecticut is hopeful the two sides can resolve their differences at a May 18 meeting with a federal mediator.
The EMTs have been working under an expired labor contract since January, according to Philip Petit, national director of the International Association of EMTs and Paramedics. They voted down an earlier management proposal to end the standoff because it didn’t resolve differences over shift differentials, which remain the biggest unresolved issue, he said.
The workers, represented by Local R1-701, ‘‘are not looking to go on strike,’’ he said.
‘‘We’re very close,’’ Petit told Bloomberg Law April 23. ‘‘We’re not talking about a lot of money.’’
Bristol values its EMTs, respects the bargaining process, and looks ‘‘forward to the next steps,’’ hospital spokesman Chris Boyle told Bloomberg Law April 23. Boyle declined to comment further.
Higher Night, Weekend Wages Ahead? Shift differentials provide higher hourly wages for EMTs who work nights and weekends. The union wants all EMTs to be eligible for the differentials, which were available only to long-time EMTs under the expired labor agreement. The hospital proposed offering smaller shift differentials to all EMTs, Petit said.
The hospital is using part-time and temporary employees to address staffing issues for those shifts resulting from the hospital’s decision not to pay shift differentials at all until a new collective bargaining agreement is in place, he said.
The hospital agreed April 20 to the joint meeting with a mediator from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, Petit said.
IAEP is an affiliate of the National Association of Government Employees, which itself is an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union. The SEIU has a total of about 2 million members.
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