Enloe, union hit bump

Enloe Medical Center and United Healthcare Workers/SEIU, the union representing service employees, continue to make progress in their contract negotiations, but they’ve hit a bump in the road on the most substantive issue so far: grievance procedures.

Both sides agree on a no-strike, no-lockout clause, but they part ways after that. Enloe apparently wants to discourage “disruption of patient care or hospital operations,” seeking what human resources director Carol Linscheid calls “labor peace.” It wants the SEIU to accept the same agreement it has with its nurses’ union.

The union wants an agreement based on what Pat Alvarez, its local rep, calls “industry-wide standards.” Peter Calo, a member of SEIU’s negotiation team, cites the recent case of several registered nurses who had warning letters put in their personnel files after attending, on their own time, a candlelight vigil outside the hospital supporting SEIU.

Otherwise, the two sides have agreed on a wide range of issues, from discipline and discharge and provisions for jury duty and voting time to bereavement leave. The hospital also has agreed that it won’t release employees and replace them with supervisors.