PREFACE—I hate it when news breaks late in the day. It means I have to wait until after work the next day to get to it. Bummer. I know, I know, it wasn’t exactly ‘late’ but I’m a Hobbit and we likes to be cozy in our beds by 8pm. Those of you who live around/near me and/or who have an interest in this subject have already read the articles in fact you knew what went down before that just like I did. Facebook is an awesome thing! —END
Please click the video it’s a good tune to go with this post.
I suppose I should start by reminding people who I do not now nor have I ever worked for Lawrence & Memorial Hospital. I am not a member of any union. I do work for one, a local one, as a secretary. No, I do not work for the Nurses and/or Techs, I work in “the trades”…you know people who build stuff.
That being said: Do I feel vindicated today or what??? LOL Yep, I feel very ok having brought up the subject of bonuses in the original What’s Your Price post.
Because L&M just pretty much proved me right by offering the Nurses and Techs up to $1,000 each for a ‘signing bonus’ if they end the strike. Yeah, I wonder what they paid for some of the good public opinion that got floated around by their own staff. Upon checking out their Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and other pages I had an inkling I was right. Upon checking out L&M’s Facebook page I kinda knew I was.
Sadly enough, I also wonder just who some of the detractors are on The Patch and even on The Day. I wonder if they get paid by the word or the post. Food For Thought, take it for whatever it’s worth to you.
To me this move by Lawrence and Memorial Hospital Corporation kinda smacks of desperation. It definitely stinks of disrespect. I think this strike has gone on longer than the hospital expected and it has cost them more than they were…bargaining…for both in monetary cost and in the Court of Public Opinion. L&M is on the ropes let’s hope they stay there. I feel confident in saying that not only because of the pathetic offer that came by EMAIL to the unions yesterday JUST BEFORE it was sent to the press in which L&M has already blatantly stated that it “doesn’t want to negotiate” (cough choke) but because a radio ad I keep hearing. I’ve tried so hard to get this ad for you, I have but I can’t find it. The whole thing plays like a Tylenol ad from the 80s after the cyanide scare. It’s all about how they’re ‘the same hospital’ and they’re ‘here for their community’ and we ‘can trust’ Lawrence & Memorial Hospital the way we ‘always have’.
I keep telling you and them that they need a new PR firm. The messages the ads send to the public are mixed at best and suspect at worst as they managed to accomplish the exact opposite of what the hospital wants them to convey. BTW, cuz I know you’re out there L&M your hits show up beautifully in my stats…about that design/PR firm…yeah, umm I dunno what L+M actually equals, I’m thinking it may be ‘N’ but I do know how to find the ampersand (&) it’s right above the ’7′ key just hit ‘shift’ and then ’7′. You should do that because it’s Lawrence AND Memorial Hospital not Lawrence PLUS Memorial Hospital.
(Sorry, I really had to get that out it drives me nuts every time I see it!)
The email thing bugs the crap outta me. It does. Truly. Ya know, if Lawrence and Memorial Hospital really IS THAT BROKE…I have paper. I’ll give to them so they can print out a proper letter. I’ll even give them the stamp. Just ask, guys. Then again, they could always go to their Billing Department they have plenty of paper. Nope, no shortage there.
Back to the ‘signing bonus’. Those employed at 36+ hours per week will receive $1,000.00 Those employed at 20-35 hours per week will receive $500.00. Those employed at 4-19 hours per week will receive $250.00 if they agree to the Last Best Offer. 1-who the hell works 4 hours a week? (I had to get that off my chest) 2-you can see what they’re trying to do right? They’re counting on the 35 hour and under people to cave. Let’s face it, it’s cold out there on the picket line…damn freakin’ cold at the moment. Christmas is right around the corner. Oil ain’t gettin’ no cheaper and those people probably *need* the money the most.
L&M went so far as to nearly IMMEDIATELY CANCEL THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE–really guys? Honestly, woman-to-corporation, I’d think a hospital would be more concerned with their employees health. Thanks for proving what I’ve always said: You’re all about money. Since they don’t have any health insurance and winter is coming and most of them probably have kids who will get coughs/colds/flu and need to see a doctor L&M figures this is the group to put The Squeeze on. Let me explain:
L&M is laying odds that this group can be bought for between $250.00-$500.00 each. It’s also laying odds that group is large enough to be able to sway the vote in the hospital’s favor. The last bet L&M is laying down is that public opinion will turn in their favor when the public is told that L&M is offering MONEY…good cold hard AMERICAN CASH to settle this. Except it’s NEVER been about money. Not one of those people out there in the snow is asking for more money. Not a single one.
Envision it: The Boardroom of L&M sat a bunch of cronies…Bruce Cummings may have actually shown up, who knows!…with a Bean Counter and a Spread Sheet and came up with a price that they then stamped on each employee like any other commodity sitting on a shelf. Cute, huh?
I point that out about Mr. Cummings because he hasn’t bothered to make it to any of the negotiations. In fact, L&M couldn’t make it to its OWN Annual Meeting. Is there any table they can actually find any more? The dinner table? The buffet table? The “gifting table” perhaps? Never mind, I’m sure they can find the latter without trouble.
Back to the Crux of the Matter which is the shuffling around of jobs. We’re here because this is my favorite part. From The New London Patch’s article L+M Makes an Offer, AFT Responds Back
Job security has been the major sticking point throughout all of the negotiation sessions, with the union refusing to consider any proposal that doesn’t guarantee employment for all of its members.
The Hospital’s last, best and final offer presents significant steps toward achieving job security, said Cummings, who noted that no acute care services would be transferred to any other L+M-owned entity during the terms of the contract.
There are no plans in place, he said, to transfer non-acute work that would impact either of these bargaining units. However, should that happen during the duration of the contract, the Hospital’s offer provides significant support measures – including training, re-training, bumping rights and substantial severance payment – for any affected employees.
“We have provided the union with an offer that protects a clear majority of our employees,” said Cummings. “It’s important to know that the now expired contract contained no job security provisions at all – none. Given the economic climate and the changing dynamics of healthcare, providing 100 percent job security is not something we can do.”
It is NOT important to note that at all because from what I can gather there was NEVER A NEED TO HAVE SUCH PROVISIONS UNTIL NOW. The only reason it became necessary was because L&M opened up their little subsidiary companies under which they bought land and rented out space all over Creation. Those subsidiaries do not now and never did have any contract with the unions because they don’t have to. Think of it like ViaCom or Disney. Those are “parent companies” under which come ABC and DreamWorks and Miramax and USA and MTV and Comedy Central and all of those good things. Each of them is their own separate entity with their own rules/regs and contracts but they are still owned by their respective “parent company”.
My question has always been: Why is this? Why did L&M feel it necessary to take this type of step if it wasn’t with the intention of vacating union jobs? Surely if the hospital intended to keep its word and its employees it would have bought/rented said properties under its own name and never opened up any subsidiaries at all. Then there wouldn’t be a need for ‘job security’.
Well, that is, ya know, unless it’s a Malpractice thing? If you die because of a screw up at the new cancer center you can’t sue the main corporation?
I dunno. Maybe. Hummm…that don’t bode well either, does it?
It took Tylenol several years and a whole ton of money to regain the Public Trust. I don’t think L&M’s pockets are quite that deep. The longer they play their games and drag the situation into the public eye with one of the worst spin-doctors ever and a CEO who’s afraid to come to the bargaining table and face the people he is talking at the more the public trust wanes and the harder it will be to get it back.
This was sent via email only moments before it was sent to The Day paper for release. So much for the hospital’s claims of “not wanting to negotiate in the press”.
They might as well have walked down the picket line with a pricing gun stamping hands. The hospital continues to show a complete lack of respect for the nurses and techs.
We’ll revisit this subject tomorrow. Tonight just think on it and/or visit the L &M Unions United Facebook page for their unofficial response. The link is to your right.
Forgive typos I’m on my tablet.