SEIU Local 73 members made their voice heard at CCH Technicians/Technologists negotiations on Thursday. The first half of negotiations was dominated by members passionately telling their stories of short staffing, increased workload, and the resulting impact on patient care. Members testified from every department from nursing to radiology to respiratory and the lab as well as every location including Cermak, Stroger, Provident, and the neighborhood clinics. We told our story and we made them listen.
We demanded that the problems be acknowledged and that real solutions be discussed. We rejected the various management “band-aids” that stretch us too far, throw good money after bad money and compromise patient care standards. These are the approaches that we are sick and tired of:
- Adding more workload and duties make it impossible to provide quality patient care
- Excessive use of on-call makes many feel like we are rent-to-own
- Subcontracting jobs that waste money and don’t help meet the needs of our patients
- Floating as a matter of routine – often leaving our regular work areas short-staffed or expecting us to work in multiple locations at the same time
Management offered no proposals or new ideas. We need stronger protection in our contract. We will no longer trust management with the first and last word on these policies and decisions. They have had their chance for years and failed.
The second half of the negotiations focused on all of the inequities in the pay scales:
- Why are Health Advocates with 15 to 20+ years of experience trapped at Step 6?
- Why are Sanitarian I’s paid in two separate pay grades when they are in the same job in the same department?
- Why are OR Technologists who meet the minimum qualifications for the newly created Certified Surgical Tehcnologist position paid less than new hires off the street when they have the same certification and perform the same duties?
- Why are multiple jobs in the lab all doing the same job with the same qualifications but classified and paid differently?
The list of questions goes on and on. Management tried to duck, dodge, and end the discussion, but our members were relentless in demanding answers. While we did not reach agreement on many issues, we sent a clear message that our voice will not be silenced anymore. Our demand for fairness will not be ignored. Hearing us and responding to us is necessary if we are going to make CCH a provider and employer of choice.
Here is the schedule for upcoming negotiations:
- March 15 CCH Professionals
- March 17 Offices Under the President
- March 19 Clerk’s Office
- March 22 Sheriff’s Office
- March 24 Offices Under the President
- March 25 CCH Professionals
- April 2 Clerk’s Office
You can view the latest information on Cook County Bargaining on our website.
Be sure to show your union pride every Wednesday by wearing your Local 73 swag or wearing purple! Organizers will distribute stickers at worksites for you to wear. Working remotely? Here’s a Zoom background you can use in meetings!