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UPDATE: Nov. 14, 2022

Merger License Has Been Approved

The license for the newly merged Regional Hospital of Scranton has been approved.

We met on Thursday, Nov. 10, for the final round of department integration talks for the following departments:

  • Emergency Room: The ER departments will continue at both hospitals. Staff will be provided an orientation to each hospital in the event there is a need to float. 
  • Birthing Suites: Birthing suites will continue at Moses Taylor Hospital and new women’s health services will be provided. If you want to be crossed trained to avoid being low censused, please let your union officers or delegate know.
  • GI Lab: The GI Lab will operate as one unit and focus on outpatient services at Moses Taylor. Regional will continue to do inpatient and outpatient. Staff will be provided an orientation to each unit and float when necessary. 
  • Senior Mental Health: Services will continue as is at Moses Taylor. 

Management is setting up a series of trainings and meet and greets for all employees. The merger will be finalized by Dec. 4, 2022.

We also conducted effects bargaining for employees who were laid off.  We made a severance proposal similar to what’s in the Integration language in both contracts. We’ll continue to update everyone as bargaining continues and as new information becomes available.

SAVE THE DATE: We are planning a  leadership meeting for Wednesday, Nov. 30th.

SIGN YOUR UNION CARD: All Moses Taylor union members must sign their NEW Regional Union Card HERE!

If you have questions, reach out to our organizers, Amanda Murphy at 570-332-0305 or Patty Ludwikowski at 814360-1478.

 

UPDATE: Oct. 25, 2022

The Latest Merger News!

Last week, we met with management about the integration of six departments —  OR, ICU, Imaging, Transport, Pharmacy, and Food & Nutrition.

We had a very productive and informative discussion about how these departments will function going forward. Management is committed to continue scheduling current employees in certain departments with Moses Taylor as their home base in order to minimize floating between the hospitals. 

There will be training and orientation provided to all employees who may be required to float to another campus. Management has committed to monitor volume and redirect patients to another campus to minimize floating where they can.

We have another meeting on Nov. 1st at 10am for the following departments: Respiratory, Housekeeping, ER, Maintenance, ECHO/IR, Case Management, Social Services, and GI. If anyone is interested in being a part of these discussions, please reach out to Patty Ludwikowski at 814-360-1478.

EFFECTS BARGAINING 

Effects bargaining that was scheduled for Friday, Oct. 28th, has been canceled. We will still meet with members at 10am in the 2nd floor conference room at Moses Taylor.

We will continue to keep everyone updated about rescheduled dates for effects bargaining.

GET IMPORTANT MERGER NEWS ON YOUR PHONE! TEXT “RHS” TO 787-753 FOR TEXT UPDATES!

 

UPDATE: Oct. 11, 2022

We did it! One Hospital, One Union, One Contract!

This week, members from both Moses Taylor and Regional voted by an overwhelming majority to ratify our integration agreement!

“This is a challenging time for all of us. While the merger continues to take effect, we have some exciting opportunities. This can finally make us competitive in the market and make us truly the provider of choice in our community!”

— Melissa Sonday, RN

 

Features of the merger agreement:

  • Once the license is approved, all employees will be Regional Hospital of Scranton employees;
  • Certain Moses Taylor employees will become new Union members and be recognized in the Regional contract!
  • Merged bargaining unit employees can use any accrued but unused vacation hours in excess of the “Max Bank Hours” up to three (3) months after the merger;
  • Hospital and bargaining unit seniority will be decided under Regional’s Union contract;
  • Vacation selection will be done by hospital seniority unless a department voted it to be different;
  • We will all have certain protections regarding Cross-Campus Floating:
    • Employees who will be required to float between campuses will receive department-specific training within 60-days from the date of the merger; 
    • We will have a standing Labor-Management agenda item to address how frequently employees are floated.

Our Task Force will continue to have merger discussions with management and will meet next on Wednesday, Oct. 19th. If you have questions, reach out to our organizers — Mary DelPlato at 570-290-0942 (Moses Taylor) or Patty Ludwikowski at 814-360-1478 (Regional).

GET IMPORTANT MERGER NEWS ON YOUR PHONE! 

TEXT “RHS” TO 787-753 FOR TEXT UPDATES!

UPDATE: September 24, 2022

Update on the merger!

Our Integration Task Force Committee met with management of Regional Hospital of Scranton and Moses Taylor Hospital on Thursday, Sept. 22, to have continued discussions on the first round of integrated services for the Med Surg/Tele Unit, ICU, SPU, and the newly-announced Laboratory integration.

The first wave of Med-Surg/Tele transitioned over to Regional on Sept. 13th and are all working together on the 9th floor. This was to assist in an easy transition for our members. The unit was not occupied at that time. The second wave of the department will move over once the Department of Health (DOH) approves the license. 

Management has decided not to move SPU over to Regional due to some surgical services continuing at MTH. Though the hospital is not utilizing the ICU unit at MTH at this time, the employees will not move to Regional until the license is approved.

The DOH tries to approve a transfer of license within 60 days, but there can always be delays in doing so. At this time, the hospital informed us that the DOH has not approved the consolidation of the license and they are continuing to provide the DOH with information needed to get the license approved. Once we are notified of the approval or denial, we will inform members at both hospitals immediately.

The newly-announced integration is the Moses Taylor Laboratory department. The hospital shared with the committee the vision of the Lab, post License approval. Details include:  

  • Stat Lab only.
  • Histology will move to RHS.
  • Micro and outpatient blood draws will be moved back to RHS.
  • Two techs for each shift will continue to work at Moses Taylor and 1 phlebotomist on day shift.
  • Phlebotomist will not work on specimens.

The hospital is looking to have integrated scheduling for MTH and Regional Laboratory. They believe there will be a need to share staff between hospitals in the Laboratory department to care for patients and the community.

This has not been agreed upon and is a mandatory subject to bargain over. The hospital agrees and is not planning on doing an integrated schedule until the Union and employer meet to negotiate over it. 

These are initial and preliminary discussions on the Laboratory and the hospital and the Union Task Force will continue to meet to discuss any new developments, concerns, and recommendations on the transition of the Lab.

At the conclusion of the merger discussion, the Union Task Force provided a proposal on recognition of Moses Taylor Bargaining Unit/Non-Bargaining Unit employees in Regional Hospital of Scranton’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. We are saying — One Hospital, One Union, One Contract

In addition, the Union Task Force provided a system seniority and sign-on bonus proposal for those who have a contract with Moses Taylor Hospital and are unable to meet the obligations due to the integration.

The hospital and the Union will set up separate meetings to negotiate over these items in the near future. We will keep you updated on dates for those meetings.

Both the hospital and the Union recognize this is a scary and stressful time for all, but know that we are all working very hard to minimize the impact and will continue to update you as things unfold.

The Union Task Force will be setting a meeting with both hospitals in the near future to update you on consolidation or merger of the license. 

Know Your Rights — Integration Highlights

  • The Hospital has to give the Union at least up to 60 days notice on an integration of services;
  • The employees can move with their department or choose to take a layoff; and
  •  Severance pay: 
    • One (1) week of pay for each year of service with the hospital; 
    • Medical insurance in the amount of one (1) month of benefits for each year of service to a maximum of 12 months; and
    • Payment of all vacation, personal leave, and sick leave benefits earned in the year of displacement but unused as the date of displacement.

Save Your Union Contract!

The upcoming election for Governor is critical — it will impact our jobs and the care we’re able to provide moving forward. That’s why we have endorsed Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who will continue to fight with us for better jobs and care, and for healthier communities across PA. 

We feel it’s very important to talk to other members about the election. We are holding a big SEIU day on October 1st, at 12 pm in Scranton by the courthouse. We will be starting with a rally then going out together talking to others about the election.

If you can join us, please contact Patty Ludwikowski at 814-360-1478 or patty.ludwikowski@seiuhcpa.org.

 

UPDATE: September 7, 2022

We have a contract!

On Tuesday, Sept. 6, we voted overwhelmingly to ratify our new one-year contract with Commonwealth Health!

Despite a difficult series of negotiations, we stood strong to come to an agreement with a clear investment in care and a recognition of the work we do at Regional Hospital of Scranton.

Highlights of the new contract include:

  • 1 Year Agreement
  • Start rates for all job titles at $11.30/hr will increase to $13.00 and all current members will be adjusted by $1.70/hr or 15.04%; all other job titles will receive $1.50/hr across the board;
  • RNs will receive a 2.25% increase across the board; and
  • Anyone with years of service at the hospital will continue to move on their step scales where applicable and receive additional wage increase!

There are also some changes to our health insurance for 2023. Our current plan will remain in place with caps on employee contributions, deductibles, and copays with the following addendums:

  • Spousal surcharge for insurance coverage of $50 per pay ONLY if your spouse has insurance offered to him/her from another source; and
  • Smoking surcharge will apply to those who smoke. This can be waived if you enroll in the smoker cessation course by calling 866-952-0353.

Many thanks to our incredible bargaining committee for their tireless work and thank you to all of the members who wore their stickers, signed petitions, and participated in the campaign!

But our work is not done. We’ll need to make sure our new contract is implemented and enforced. You can help us continue to build the strength of our union by becoming a delegate or volunteering for a committee. 

If you have questions, reach out to Patty Ludwikowski at 814-360-1478 or at patty.ludwikowski@seiuhcpa.org.

 

UPDATE: July 27nd

Wages Are Our Top Priority!

Our bargaining committee met again with management for Regional on Tuesday for more than five hours but the hospital had no proposals for us! 

Inflation is at its highest rate ever. Gas prices are still at an all-time high. Wages are not keeping up. Our hospital has a staffing complement where 1-in-6 employees are per diem. This is not acceptable!

We delivered wage scale proposals on Tuesday that will position us to be a leader in our market when it comes to wages. Regional needs to invest in us and pay us a wage that is competitive so we can recruit and retain staff at our hospital. Wages are an urgent priority for us in these negotiations but we’re beginning to question if it’s a priority for management.

We’re headed back to the bargaining table on Thursday, Aug. 4th, at 12pm and we’re expecting that Regional management comes to the table with a serious proposal that recognizes our contribution to our hospital and our worth as caregivers!

NEXT BARGAINING SESSION

Thursday, August 4th – 12pm

Hilton Scranton, 100 Adams Ave., Scranton, PA 18503

If you have questions, reach out to me or to Robin Blumenstein at 650-823-2897 or at robin.blumenstein@seiuhcpa.org.

 

UPDATE: July 22nd

We’re headed back to bargaining on Tuesday!

We’re headed back to the bargaining table on Tuesday, July 26th, at 12pm and we’re planning to make some positive movement toward a fair contract for Regional workers.

Last week, we laid out some of our top goals for management: 

  • 15% across-the-board wage increase over the three (3) years of the contract;
  • Wage scale improvements and bringing job titles below $15 up to $15/hr;
  • Improving our health insurance language; and
  • Sick time buyback to incentivize not calling off.

WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP US WIN?

We need everyone behind us if we want to win the contract we know we deserve. Here’s what everyone can be doing right now to make sure we’re all in the fight:

  • Join the RHS United private Facebook group so you can be part of the discussion and get important updates! Request to Join HERE.
  • Sign up for text alerts so you’re getting the most up-to-date info about bargaining! Just text RHS to 787-753!
  • Update your email and other info so you don’t miss out on crucial news about your contract. Go to seiuhcpa.org/info.

If you can, make a plan to join us at bargaining on Tuesday at 12pm at the Hilton Scranton. If we want a fair contract that works for everyone, we ALL need to work for it!

NEXT BARGAINING SESSION

TUESDAY, JULY 26th – 12pm

Hilton Scranton

100 Adams Ave., Scranton, PA 18503

If you have questions, reach out to me or to Robin Blumenstein at 650-823-2897 or at robin.blumenstein@seiuhcpa.org.

 

UPDATE: June 22nd

We’re laying out our goals for bargaining!

We held a very productive first bargaining session on July 7th with open discussions on several important items in our contract —  per-diem staffing and rate increases, how guidelines are not working and not enforced, sick time, and wage scale adjustments so we can move on the wage steps without waiting 25 years.

We discussed some of our goals with management and they can’t be more clear: 

  • 15% across-the-board wage increase over the three (3) years of the contract so we can be competitive in the market, keep up with inflation, and be the hospital of choice in the region;
  • Wage scale improvements and bringing job titles below $15 up to $15/hr. so we can recruit and retain skilled healthcare workers at Regional Hospital;
  • Improving our health insurance language so we have better access to actually use it as well as protections for women’s reproductive health services;
  • Sick time buyback to incentivize not calling off.

ARPA MONEY UPDATE

The ARPA bonus money we fought hard to make sure gets directly into healthcare workers’ hands is finally being distributed! Regional received the money back in April but unfortunately, the PA Legislature left some of our most dedicated coworkers out of this bill. We’ve made proposals to management to distribute it to everyone equally but because of the state guidelines, that didn’t happen. 

This is why we need leaders in Lackawanna County who will fight for ALL of us. If you want to get involved with electing the best leaders to send to Harrisburg, contact our organizer Robin at 650-823-2897 or at robin.blumenstein@seiuhcpa.org.

And make a plan to join us at our next bargaining session on Tuesday, July 26th, at 12pm at the Hilton Scranton. If we want a fair contract that works for everyone, we ALL need to work for it!

NEXT BARGAINING SESSION

TUESDAY, JULY 26th – 12pm

Hilton Scranton

100 Adams Ave., Scranton, PA 18503

If you have questions, reach out to me or to Robin Blumenstein at 650-823-2897 or at robin.blumenstein@seiuhcpa.org.

UPDATE: June 22nd

Join the meeting to VOTE on our contract priorities.

Thursday, June 28 – 7:30AM, 4PM & 7:30PM via Zoom

Register and join HERE for the 7:30AM meeting

Register and join HERE for the 4PM meeting

Register and join HERE for the 7:30PM meeting

UPDATE: June 14

Our new CEO says people are the most important resource

On Sunday, the Scranton Times-Tribune ran an interview with Michael Curran, the new CEO of Moses Taylor and Regional hospitals. In that interview, he laid out his vision for how Moses Taylor and Regional would move forward, evolve, and grow.

Much of what he told the Times-Tribune is not new —  we’ve heard some version of these plans for the last year and a half. But if plans are being formalized or acted on, we intend to be part of that process.

Leaders from both hospitals will be requesting meetings with Curran in the next week or so to discuss his vision and insist that as we move forward, we move forward together. We’re the ones on the front lines of our hospitals and we know better than most how things can be improved.

Curran told the Times-Tribune that people are the most important resource. Well WE are those people and we intend to hold him to his word. 

We’ll have more information for everyone soon. Until then, if you have any questions or concerns or would like to be more involved in how we create a new health system here in Scranton, reach out to our organizers — Mary DelPlato (mary.delplato@eiuhcpa.org) and Robin Blumstein (robin.blumstein@seiuhcpa.org).

Lynn Mooney, RN, Regional Hospital of Scranton

Melissa Sonday, RN, Moses Taylor Hospital

UPDATE May 20

Here’s what you can do right now to improve wages at RHS

We met yesterday to discuss our contract survey and our priorities for negotiations starting soon. It’s no surprise that our survey results show the #1 priority for RHS caregivers is improving wages so we can recruit and retain front-line workers at our hospital

We have weathered a pandemic for more than two years and our staffing challenges have only gotten worse. Wages have lagged and that’s made it more difficult to keep the best caregivers at our hospital and find new ones. Now is our best chance to make a change. If we stand together in our union, we have an opportunity to negotiate a contract this summer with wages that reflect our true worth and our contribution to our community. 

Here’s what you can do right now:

  • Fill out our survey! You can do that now here.
  • Join us on the bargaining committee! We’re more powerful when we have voices from every corner of our hospital at the table. Reach out to organizer Robin Blumenstein or Patty Ludwikowski if you want your voice represented.
  • Make a plan to attend our next all-member meeting via Zoom Thursday, June 9th at either 7:30am, 4pm, or 730pm at the link below.

IMPORTANT ALL-MEMBER MEETING

Thursday, June 9 – 7:30AM, 4PM & 7:30PM

Join by Zoom HERE

KNOW YOUR CONTRACT

The hospital can upgrade our wages right now through our current negotiated contract.

Article 11.2  (a) The Hospital may unilaterally increase the wages for any classification provided that it will determine and apply an equivalent cents per hour or equivalent percentage to all employees throughout the same classification. 

That language was negotiated by our bargaining committee in our previous contract specifically to address a market shift in wages and recruitment and retention issues like we’re seeing now.

ACT 2 STATE MONEY

The hospital received money from the state on April 14, 2022, and they have until July 14, 2022, to spend it on retention bonuses. Management has informed us that they plan on addressing retention but has not decided on specific details and who will receive funds. 

We will continue to address these issues through regular labor-management meetings. If you want to get involved, reach out to one of us or to Robin Blumenstein at robin.blumenstein@seiuhcpa.org or 650-823-2897.

Paula West, Med Tech Lab & Nate Truitt, RN Emergency Room

 

UPDATE Feb. 4

RHS RNs Are Getting a Raise!

This week, thanks to RHS union leaders’ tireless efforts to move our hospital to raise wages, we have good news to report: nurses are getting a $5/hr raise!

This wage increase will improve recruitment and retention at Regional and help us continue to improve the quality of care in NEPA.

Job classifications receiving the wage increase include:

  • RNs
  • RN Case Managers
  • Certified RNFAs
  • Charge RNs
  • Clinical Review RNs
  • Graduate Nurses
  • UR Clinical Access Nurses

It’s because of our union that we’re able to make these sorts of gains for frontline caregivers. When we stand together and fight, we win!

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