Cape Cod Healthcare MNA Contract, Media Statement
April 20, 2011
As part of our ongoing contract negotiations with the Massachusetts Nurses Association, we have offered contract terms that prioritize safe patient care and continue supporting our nurses, even as other employers – including health care providers – are cutting wages and benefits. Over the past eight months, we have participated in 8 negotiation sessions, 5 mediation sessions with a federal mediator and (in total) more than 65 hours at the bargaining table.
We are disappointed that the MNA has launched a public campaign that is factually inaccurate and designed to scare and mislead the public. There are two critical points important to communicate: all patients at Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital are safe and well-cared for and all nurses will receive a raise.
We have developed an excellent offer that:
Supports delivery of high quality patient care
- Continues our commitment to safe, effective core staffing patterns that were established in agreement with the MNA during our 2005 contract and renewed in 2008. These staffing patterns are among the best in the state: one-to-five in the medical surgical units; one-to-four on the cardiac step-down units; and one-to-two on the intensive/critical care units on day and evening shifts. At night, our core nurse-to-patient staffing patterns are one-to-six/seven in the medical surgical units; one-to-four on the cardiac step-down units; and one-to-two on the intensive/critical care units.
- These patterns increase based on the acuity of our patient population. Falmouth Hospital and Cape Cod Hospital are two of the few hospitals in the state that balance admitting practices with our commitment to these staffing patterns.
- Continues our commitment to minimizing use of mandatory overtime. In addition to the systems and processes currently in place, commits to a joint study with the MNA on how to further limit such overtime, while ensuring appropriate patient care
Provides all nurses with annual wage increases
- Nurses at the top step will receive a 2% increase each year of the contract; full-time staff nurses at the top step will earn an average base salary of over $100,000 by the third year of the contract
- Staff nurses not yet at the top-step will receive an average step wage rate increase of 4.6% for each of the three contract years (a 13.8% pay increase in total)
Preserves benefits such as paid time off, pension, etc., at current levels
- Current medical, dental and paid time off benefits (vacation, sick, personal, etc.) remain unchanged for all nurses
- Senior nurses at the top step may receive up to 54 paid days off each year.
- Our nurses receive two weeks more of paid time off than nurses at nearby hospitals.
- Asks only that new benefit eligible employees pay a percentage of healthcare costs at a rate comparable with peer hospitals.
Our goal is fair contract that reflects our respect for the nursing staff at Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital, yet one that also addresses our need for financial stability in a rapidly changing healthcare market.
Under federal health care reform, for example, our system stands to lose $106 million in the next nine years in Medicare reimbursements, a loss that equates to funding for over 120 jobs annually. It would be irresponsible for Cape Cod Healthcare to agree to contract terms that could jeopardize our fiscal stability and limit our ability to continue providing the exceptional clinical care that residents of this region depend upon.
It is our hope that the MNA leadership will ultimately recognize that the offer before them is more than fair and will accept our proposal.
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