By Doug Rigert, Union Representative
On Tuesday, December 14, 2021, collective bargaining negotiations began between UFCW Local 663 and Benedictine Living Community – New Brighton/Innsbruck. Over two days, representatives from both sides met to discuss issues and exchange proposals that each felt were needed to move forward in order to reach an agreement that both sides could accept and endorse. Those representing UFCW Local 663 during the negotiations were members Meicy Zopi, Cindy Bruner, Elizabeth Brown, and myself. Those representing Benedictine Living Community – New Brighton/Innsbruck were Wendy Kohler, Reid Hewitt and Aimee Valencour. As one might guess, over the two days of negotiating, there were plenty of proposals and counter proposals exchanged between both sides and after numerous hours of negotiating, many of the proposals fell by the wayside in order to reach a good tentative agreement both sides could stand behind and support. It should be noted that in advance of these negotiations, in September 2021, an opportunity to discuss and achieve significant wage increases for all existing as well as future new hire Certified Nursing Assistants (CNA) took place between representatives of UFCW Local 663 and a representative of Benedictine Living Community – New Brighton/Innsbruck. These new significant wage increases went into effect October 2021.
The following are several examples of some of the improvements achieved in the new 2-year collective bargaining agreement which were a part of the overall tentative agreement voted strongly in favor of by all eligible UFCW Local 663 members at Benedictine Living Community – New Brighton/Innsbruck on December 21 and 22, 2021.
Union Difference: Contract Highlights
- 2.5% wage increase for all housekeepers and laundry aides effective January 6, 2022.
- Housekeepers and laundry aides at the top or above the first year of the contract 01/06/22 wage scale will also receive a 2% wage increase effective 01/05/23.
- NAR/ACT/Main currently receiving a wage rate at the top or above the first year of the contract 01/06/22 wage scale will receive a 2% wage increase effective 01/05/23.
- Trained medication aides (TMA) will receive an additional $1.50 per hour premium for a combined total hourly premium of $2.50 effective 01/06/22.
- Floor care techs will receive an additional $1.00 per hour premium for a combined total premium of $2.00 effective 01/06/22.
Additional Contract Highlight
- A mandating bonus of $50.00 will be paid to any employee mandated (required by law) to work a full shift in addition to their completed work shift on a given day and $25.00 will be paid to any employee mandated (required by law) to work a partial shift (less than 6 hours) in addition to their completed scheduled work shift on a given day
Members’ Voices Heard
I would like to thank all the UFCW Local 663 members who came to vote and made their voices heard, as well as the negotiating committee members Meicy Zopi, Cindy Bruner, Elizabeth Brown for all their help and hard work representing all their fellow coworkers and doing everything they could to reach a tentative agreement. I would also like to thank UFCW Local 663 Secretary-Treasurer Paul Crandall for his help and assistance in preparation of the negotiations and Benedictine Living Community – New Brighton/Innsbruck representatives Wendy Kohler, Reid Hewitt and Aimee Valencour for their professionalism and for bargaining in good faith.