The Pay-off of Inclusion and Participation
The Fountain Valley Professional Association finished bargaining this year with overwhelming support from their members and a much stronger three-year contract. They accomplished this by delivering their message clearly, consistently, and creatively to members—through e-mails, snail mail, and even text alert messages. Member participation was crucial in obtaining FVPA’s tremendous new contract. Most important, RNs and Professionals volunteered to be on the Contract Action Team (CAT) and these members worked to keep colleagues in their unit informed about negotiations and helped turn them out to attend bargaining.
Susan Adamson-Nelson, CLS, FVPA Co-chair, agrees that member turnout was significant in obtaining a stronger contract because there was increased say. “A major win was the wage grid we negotiated, given the unfair disparities that currently exist. This brings a higher level of professionalism into the work place,” Adamson-Nelson says.
This is the first ever successfully negotiated wage grid at Fountain Valley. The goal of such a grid is to acknowledge the experience of these professionals and the work they do to safely care for patients. In addition, members obtained strict cost controls on health care premiums, expanded seniority rights, and a process for their next contract which will give them opportunities for greater unity and power in bargaining.
“We created this contract by getting involved, coming to negotiations, and participating in the process. It is important that all who have a stake in it keep this level of involvement and commitment in the future,” said Wendy Burrell, RN, FVPA Co-chair.
Congratulations to FVPA members and the bargaining team a on a transformative new contract.