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HomeHealthcareWinning a Contract that Shows "What is Possible"

Winning a Contract that Shows “What is Possible”

The negotiating committee representing our AFT Connecticut-affiliated West Haven Federation of School Nurses (photo, below) in late September celebrated final approval of their new three year contract with the district. The Municipal Accountability Review Board (MARB), an oversight body monitoring the city’s finances, signed-off on the agreement previously ratified by members and approved by the board of education (BOE).
“This contract isn’t just good for our members; it helps school nurses in other districts see what is possible,” said local union president Saundra McCauley, RN (second from left). “Because we made gains, they can point to us as an example in their own negotiations,” added McCauley, the nurse at the district’s Washington Elementary School. 
 
The new agreement, which the committee secured with the assistance of AFT Field Representative Mike Ozga, provides all members general wage increases (GWI) for all three years. An automatic annual step advancement is also awarded for the first two years.
 
A major non-economic gain is the inclusion of new language requiring administrators to consult with union leaders before offering incentives to help recruit and retain new school health professionals.
 
“Hiring more experienced nurses at a higher step benefits us and management because we’re so short-staffed,” said McCauley. “All four of us on the committee could have retired at least 10 years ago; we’re still here because we’re needed.”
 
Click here for press reporting on school nurse staffing shortfalls featuring affiliated union leaders.
 
The new contract maintains health benefits and holds the line on employee premium share costs. It additionally provides all members a third annual paid personal day off. 
 
“This pandemic has been tough,” added McCauley. “It’s been a strain on all school nurses, so an extra personal day is a benefit that’s well-earned.”
 
The nurses’ contract is retroactive to September 1 effective with the MARB West Haven Subcommittee’s September 21 vote.
 
Click here for our initial announcement of the nurses’ contract win.
 
The final approval of six additional local unions’ contracts have been announced since our previous quarterly report in July. As of press time, three recent settlements have not yet been finalized.
 
Click here for photos of our West Haven Federation of Paraprofessionals celebrating their new contract.
 
Click here for photos following our Middletown Federation of Teachers’ tentative agreement ratification vote.
 
Click here for the announcement of our Windham Federation of Maintenance Workers’ new agreement.
 
Click here for an update on the new contract for our Norwalk Federation of Education Personnel.
 
Click here for a report on our North Branford Federation of Paraprofessionals’ recently approved agreement.
 
Click here for the announcement of our New Haven Federation of Teachers’ North Haven School Nurses Chapter’s contract.
 
Thirty-two affiliates are currently preparing for or are engaged in active negotiations with their employers. One is awaiting a second arbitration hearing following the first held last month.
 
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