The Registered Nurses Association (RNA) is a local affiliate of the Ohio Nurses Association(ONA) and represents 1700 union nurses at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. We are also affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).
Currently the nurses are in contract negotiations with UC Medical Center. UCMC is the only Level 1 Trauma and Comprehensive Stroke Center in the Tri-state area. The Medical Center provides access to care for all, regardless of patients’ ability to pay and receives Hamilton County levy money to provide care. UCMC has one of only seven dedicated psychiatric emergency rooms in the country and nurses routinely treat victims of gun violence and traumas from around the area. UCMC is the only area hospital to treat adult patients with significant burns and leads the way in the city’s transplant program – performing liver, kidney, pancreas, and heart transplants. Other area hospitals routinely transfer their sickest patients to UCMC for life-saving care. RNA nurses make all of this possible.
After a grueling 15-month global pandemic record numbers of nurses are leaving the industry due to moral injury or leaving to take on subcontracting travel assignments as those are now paying double the current hourly rate at UCMC. This could leave the greater Cincinnati community without the quality care our neighbors, family and friends deserve.
RNAs comprehensive proposals seek to address the need for nurses in our community, focusing on safe staffing by retaining, and recruiting skilled nurses.
Stand In Solidarity and show your support for Safe Staffing Ratios.
RNA is asking our friends and neighbors to show support for nurses during negotiations by placing a sign in their yard or business. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to pick up your sign today!
Take a picture with or of your yard sign and post it on social media
-Tag RNA on Facebook or Twitter @cincynurses
-Use the following contract campaign hashtags with your post: #safestaffingsaveslives #nurseconditionsarepatientconditions #heroesnotzeros #1u
RNA Contract Objectives:
· Cincinnati and Tri-State area patients deserve established nurse-to-patient ratios. ONA/RNA is proposing that UCMC make a contractual commitment to these nationally recognized ratios. Whether a nurse splits their time between 4 patients or 6 patients, the patient’s insurance is still billed for nursing care. As the ratio increases that nurse’s ability to provide care goes down as his/her workload increases, sometimes over 50%. Patients deserve to receive the care they are paying for and nurse staffing ratios are proven to create better patient outcomes.
· The Medical Center is currently contractually limited to subcontracting bargaining unit work for up to 1 year. UCMC wants to increase their ability to subcontract up to 3 years as “a tool to help with staffing.” Subcontractors cannot perform the same quality of work as UCMC nurses, due to the specialization and complexity of care at UCMC. Subcontracting lowers the bar on quality of care to the community and outsources good paying jobs away from the Cincinnati and the Tri-state area.
· Over the past year, UCMC has made part-time nurses, for the first time ever, pay more for health insurance than full-time nurses. Part-time nurses with a spouse or family plan have seen premiums nearly double while caring for a record number of patients during a global pandemic. The Union seeks to remedy this injustice.
· Violence in the workplace has always been an issue, but incidents at UCMC have increased with the stressors of COVID. UCMC had an active shooter incident in 2017 in the psych emergency services department. Nurses want signs posted that violence, threats, and abusive language towards staff will not be tolerated, and may result in a felony. 6/9/21 Update: UC Medical Center has started posting these signs- RNA will continue to make workplace safety a priority for our members.
· The Nurses have contract language stating that nurses who contract communicable diseases and cannot work are to be placed on paid leave and not lose PTO. UCMC has not been following this language. Front line care providers shouldn’t lose their earned paid off for contracting COVID when their job is to care for the sick. COVID has magnified the problem of nurses not be notified in a timely manner or even at all when they are exposed to a communicable disease. Nurses have the right to be notified when exposed to protect their families and the community. RNA is fighting to ensure UC Medical Center makes a contractual commitment to notify Nurses when they are exposed to a communicable disease.
· The Union contract obligates UCMC to pay 3% of a nurse’s compensation into their 401K each year. The Medical Center is only paying 3% of a nurse’s base rate of pay. Nurses this year alone have been shorted thousands of dollars from their 401Ks, especially for those nurses who worked overtime to protect the community during the height of the pandemic. RNA has made comprehensive proposals to safe guard nurses’ retirement after years of caring for patients.