UFCW 21 Merger Vote Update

Results from the recent round of merger votes with UFCW 367 and UFCW 21 were announced after the conclusion of votes and the official vote count was tallied. While the members of UFCW 21 voted overwhelmingly to approve the proposed merger with UFCW 367, the UFCW 367 membership unfortunately rejected the merger.

The result of the rejection of the merger leaves UFCW 367 and UFCW 21 as two separate union locals. For UFCW 21, we will continue to unite our members to win the strongest contracts possible and do the successful campaigns that have made us a recognized national leader in the labor movement.

Currently, UFCW 21 members at Macy's, MultiCare, Providence Everett and many other locations around the state are in contract negotiations and all these members need our full support. UFCW 21 members stick up for each other no matter what their occupation or where they work. We stand together and take collective action in our workplaces and our communities to improve members' lives.

 

 

 

WHEN 4 BECOMES 200 - Lourdes Nurses Win Historic Decision; Collective Rights Upheld

2018 0509 - Lourdes.jpg

It’s about respect and the willingness on the hospital administration’s part to provide their frontline staff with a good healthy working environment. We often work 12+ hours on a shift with a late lunch and rest breaks are few and frankly hard to come by. But rest and breaks are critical for us to be able to be at our best for our patients. This Supreme Court decision is a very important win as it gives us the opportunity to stand together for our rights.
— Kathleen Christianson, RN BS

Overtired. Overworked. And no time to take a rest during a long shift. Sound familiar? There ought to be a law against making people work without a break. In fact, there is. The problem is that employers who violate the law think they can just get away with it. The consequence - our patients get lower quality care, we get more and more tired and stressed, and our employers put more and more money into their pocket because we are working for free. Does that sound fair to you? Here’s a quick story about what Nurses at one hospital in Washington State are doing to stand up and say no more….

A few years back, a witness testified during a case that the local Tri-Cities, WA Hospital (called Lourdes) did not track or record missed breaks.  The Union conducted an investigation and concluded that the Hospital was in violation of laws that require meals and breaks as well as record keeping.  At the time, many nurses reported to the Union that they were required to stay at the hospital oftentimes watching monitors while on lunch or break.  Further, when nurses were left on assignment without the ability to get away from duties to eat or relax, there was no system to report the missed break period. The nurses filed an individual and class action lawsuit claiming they regularly missed breaks without compensation due to Lourdes failure to ensure they could take breaks and record them. 

The trial court ruled against the nurses, but the nurse didn’t give up. With further assistance by their union UFCW 21 and Washington Employment Lawyers Association the nurses renewed the effort for a class action case and called on the Washington Supreme Court to review the case.  In April of 2018, the Washington State Supreme Court heard the case on whether nurses could file a class action lawsuit against Lourdes Medical Center and overturned the decision of the lower court and unanimously ruled in the favor of the Nurses to allow the nurses to pursue a class-action case in a Franklin County Court. It ruled that the trial court had “abused its discretion” by finding that individual issues outweighed the collective issue of missed breaks and meal periods. 

This will now allow for the nurses to go forward with the strongest case possible, as a class action, instead of being forced as each individual to sue. 

Excerpts from Opinion: 
Chavez v. Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, No. 94592-6

  • “We find that the individual issues in this case do not override the central, predominant issue of whether Lourdes failed to ensure its nurses could take breaks and record missed breaks.”

  • “Concentrating these claims into one forum and certifying this class is likely the only way that the nurses’ rights will be vindicated because individual nurses may be reluctant to sue their employers.”

  • “Individual nurses likely do not have the bargaining power to achieve systemic victories—but here, merely filing this class action appears to have caused Lourdes to uniformly change its break tracking procedures and implement a new accounting system.”

  • “Each of the CR 23(b)(3) factors weighs in favor of finding that a class action is superior to alternative methods of adjudication such as joinder or small claims court. We remand to the trial court with instructions to certify the class.”

What’s next?

There will now be a period where nurses receive notice of the class, followed by an additional discovery period, and then a trial in Superior Court in Pasco.

Knowing Our Rights

It’s important that we know our rights. Our UFCW 21 union contract allows us to have a half hour unpaid meal break and two 15 minute paid breaks during an 8 hour shift. Nurses required to remain on shift during their meal period, shall be compensated at the appropriate rate of pay. Under the Washington State Law, we are entitled to an additional 10 minute break during a 12 hour shift. Read our contract online @ www.ufcw21.org

To find out how to get more involved in building our Union at Lourdes, contact Union Representative Carol Cropper at 509-340-7372.
 

Know Your Rights: WA State's new Paid Sick & Safe time off and a rise in the Minimum Wage

2018 0104 paid sick leave 1.jpg

Paid Sick & Safe Days

Beginning January 1, 2018 you have the right to paid time off, free from discipline, if you or a member of your family is sick or if you are the victim of domestic violence. 

  • You can take paid leave if you are ill for a doctor’s appointment OR to care for a sick child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, or grandparent. You can also take paid leave to cope with the consequences of domestic abuse, sexual assault or stalking. 
  • You will earn a minimum of 1 hour of paid sick time for every 40 hours worked, or more if your contract gives more sick time. 
  • You cannot be penalized in any way by your employer for missing work for any reason covered by the law. This includes absence control polices such as occurrence systems that count an absence toward discipline.
  • You have access to your paid leave any day that you miss work for a covered reason, even on the first day. 
  • You are eligible to use paid sick leave after 90 days of employment, or sooner if your contract allows it. 
  • Each year you can carry over up to 40 hours of paid sick leave to your bank the following year.
  • The current time in your contractual sick leave bank (including PTO time) can be used to satisfy the requirements of the law, but that time must meet all the other requirements of the law.
  • You must notify your employer prior to missing a shift as soon as is reasonable under the circumstances. 

If you have any questions about your Paid Sick and Safe Leave rights, speak to a steward or call your Union Representative at 1-800-732-1188.

2018 0104 better wages 1.jpg

Minimum Wage

UFCW members stood up to win better wages in our contracts and on the ballot.

As of January 1, 2018:

The new statewide minimum wage will be $11.50
The new Seattle minimum wage for large employers will be $15

Your contract may have wage escalators that mean you automatically get a raise when the minimum wage goes up. 

Check your contract or talk to your shop steward for details or call your Union Representative at 1-800-732-1188.
 

Haggen Store Auction

UFCW 21 Haggen Update – November 13, 2015

Some Results From Recent Auction and Next Steps

You may be wondering what the results were from the recent round of auctions taking place in LA for 95 Haggen stores up and down the West Coast. In particular, some of our UFCW 21 northwest Washington Haggen stores were on auction Wednesday.  

While there were a few stores that had no bids in the UFCW 21 region, we are still actively working to find buyers for these few stores. For the rest in the UFCW 21 region, there were eight winning bids and they were all by Albertsons, a union store. This list from the auction is below.  

We continue to closely monitor this process and will know more early next week about what the outcome will look like as there are extra steps after the bidding and prior to an approved sale.  Also, we hope there may be positive news about the other stores that had been auctioned but had no bid. 

Finally, the list we had sent on Tuesday night was regarding the so-called "core" stores in our region that Haggen has filed a motion to put up for auction in January of 2016.