Negotiations for new Alta Vista Regional Hospital contract in progress. Please come August 21 and 22, 2018 (9:00 AM till 5:00 PM) to the Plaza Hotel to witness and participate. Help create the working conditions and compensation you wish to see. Missing from photo is negotiating team member, Marcos Ortiz, photographer.
District 1199 NM Union of Hospital and Healthcare Employees,
As you’re newly appointed Interim President, I wanted to introduce myself.
First off, I wish to extend thanks to Lori MacIver who served as president of District 1199 NM since September 2014 until last month.
The Union made some significant efforts the last few years, such as establishing a minimum wage of $10/hour for employees working at the state’s flagship hospital and working with hospital management in addressing issues of safety for health care employees. And yet, we have a lot of work ahead of us. Healthcare employees - nursing assistants, housekeepers, technicians, social workers, maintenance workers and facility operators, and nurses - are being attacked across the United States. Management in many venues fail to fill vacant support care positions in a timely manner, ignore serious staffing inadequacies which overload front line caregivers, and neglect creating effective retention policies to keep experienced staff on board. Management undervalues the work of healthcare employees when it comes to fair compensation.
Over the next few months I will be asking to meet with as many of you as can make yourselves available to discuss my ideas and yours – and from that develop a plan of action.
If you cannot meet in person, I am a phone call (or an email) away to answer questions or hear your suggestions as to how your Union can better serve you.
My background and experience: This is my 40th year as a full-time practicing, Registered Nurse, I believe I know what you all are going through every day in almost every department of a hospital. I started at St Francis School of Nursing (Diploma program) in Jersey City, NJ.
I graduated from California State University in Long Beach with my BSN; and The University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas with my MSN.
I’ve been around.
Air Force Nurse for 20 years, retiring as a Major
Taught nursing for 22 years in northern New Mexico
District 1199 NM member in good standing since 1993
Held various positions in our Union, including executive vice-president
Have assisted healthcare employees in grievances with management
Negotiating team member for collective bargaining and walked picket lines to fight for our rights and for fairer contracts
Represented the members of our Union before the state legislature and before the executive office of the Department of Health relating to patient safe staffing.
I’m ready to work as your president, but I cannot do this alone. Will you help me?
Will you consider a visit with me at your hospital, or in the Albuquerque, Santa Fe office?
There is also the opportunity for us to get together at the Union Delegate Assembly - September 28 and 29 at the Santa Ana Star Casino.
Contact our Union offices in Albuquerque, 505-884-7713, or Santa Fe, 505-780-8272, and let us know you want to be there so we can reserve a room.
I will be making rounds at each of our hospitals:
-University of New Mexico Hospital
-Los Alamos Medical Center
-Holy Cross Hospital
-Alta Vista Regional Hospital
-CHRISTUS/St. Vincent Regional Medical Center
Visiting break rooms and cafeterias. Please share with me your ideas, your stories, and your complaints.
In the meantime, I want to address matters already brought to my attention and that of the Executive Board of our Union.
I read our out-going president’s last message. I wish to address issues she identified. I am seeking nominations for the Economic Oversight Committee as she recommended.
And I want to expand participation by membership on advisory committees. Let’s work together to prioritize issues that need addressing through committees, and with feedback from members of our bargaining units. As I become grounded in this new position I will be seeking other areas for our Union to become engaged.
Help me - point me in the direction you wish our Union to go.
Together we have a chance to create the future you wish to see.
Sharon Argenbright MSN, RN
Advisory: District 1199NM of the National Union of Hospital and Healthcare Employees Announces Successful Arbitration Ruling
A telling analysis from the arbitrator describes what may be an unfortunate trend in which employees due process rights are infringed upon and accountability comes with a double standard.
The National Union of Hospital and Healthcare Employees District 1199NM would like to announce the successful arbitration of a fellow brother who was unjustly terminated from his position at the University of New Mexico Hospitals (UNMH) Food and Nutrition Department (F&N) main cafeteria known as “La Cocina”. UNMH is required to rehire and fully compensate for back wages plus interest over the time in which the employee was unemployed where he endured the uncertainty of employability and survival for his family which included a newborn.
The arbitrator presiding over the case brought forth by District 1199NM identified significant failures on the part of UNMH to establish justification for a termination of this employee in areas that are significant to the principles that the labor movement and those our nation stands for when an institution imposes decisions that have significant impact on the lives of citizens and their families. “Just Cause” ensures the right to due process, the right to a fair and unbiased investigation, fair treatment, substantial proof of an offense, and that the punishment truly “fits the crime”. Your union contract secures these protections when you are faced with any form of disciplinary action to ensure that the decision put forth is fair, just, and based on the TRUTH.(Names redacted to protect confidentiality)
“The most serious of all the failures of UNM was its violation of the due process rights of (grievant) by denying him the opportunity to be heard before the termination was final. It was a deprivation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.
However, each of the other failures: proof of the offense, mitigation of the penalty based on (management) and (managements) behavior, the absence of a fair and unbiased investigation, disparate treatment in the penalty and penalty disproportionate to the offense was sufficient alone to warrant granting the grievance.” -Arbitrator
Staff Representatives that work diligently to protect members from unjust disciplinary actions rely heavily on the principles of Just Cause to ensure that UNMH does not wrongfully disrupt careers based on people’s personal prejudices, personal vendettas, conflicts of interest, or efforts to cover up unethical and unsafe practices in the workplace. The arbitrator presiding over this specific case alerts us to the potential for and possibility that this employer is intentionally ignoring these principles in attempts to protect managerial staff from accountability for their behaviors and potentially falsified and fabricated information to bring about a more severe outcome for this particular employee and subsequently lied under oath to serve themselves and their phony scenario.
“Apparently, according to UNM, unless someone accused of an offense confesses, denials must be discredited. It follows that everyone is guilty. However, the hospital did not apply that standard to [the manager] threats/assault and [the supervisor] dishonesty.” -Arbitrator
“UNM also claims that (supervisor) had no reason to fabricate the encounter nor history of fabrication. His behavior in the (redacted to protect identity) …incident shows his willingness to go to great lengths to curry favor with his immediate supervisor…” -Arbitrator
District 1199NM commends the members who stood firm and unified in efforts to bring the truth to light over the past year and a half. This employee that was wrongfully terminated participated in a grievance to bring attention to a more systemic trend in the department related to the abuse and mistreatment of staff, dishonesty of management, provocation of conflict amongst fellow co-workers, and disparate treatment fomenting further divisions in attempts to shake our worker solidarity. They were unsuccessful in shaking our solidarity and our members have proven the power of collective efforts to bring about change.
Our struggle is far from over! While union members and staff were involved in defense of the employee that was terminated, they were concurrently fighting the larger fight in attempts to reform their department from the toxic work environment that persisted long after the termination of their colleague. While this win was meaningful and almost life changing relief for the grievant, it speaks volumes in validating what employees hospital-wide and specifically in La Cocina have been attempting to call attention to for so long. Mere accusations appear to be enough to disrupt one’s career depending on who is making the accusation and who is the accused.
We are witnessing a form of bullying and workplace harassment that is all too common in the healthcare industry where management and their minions utilize formal mechanisms of the institution to harass employees they dislike and preserve the status quo of corruption and favoritism. District 1199NM members and staff will not be discouraged. This ruling calls attention to what staff representatives and victims have been saying all along. It is important now more than ever to come together and back your fellow co-workers. Do not stand witness to abuse, bullying, unsafe working conditions, and corruption. Call it out, speak up, document and report such conditions and don’t let your fellow co-workers endure such behavior on the part of management.District1199NM President responds to video released showing a Nurse being handcuffed for doing her job.
By now, we have all seen the video of the Salt Lake City Police Detective assaulting and handcuffing a nurse at a Salt Lake City Hospital. First, let me say that the nurse was doing her job; Protecting the patient! Nurses and other healthcare providers are assaulted on the job daily around the nation. It is time to put a stop to this behavior. No person should ever have to go to work expecting that they will be assaulted in one manner or another, yet, healthcare workers do so every day. Healthcare workers are routinely verbally and sometimes, physically assaulted while performing their duties.
New Mexico, like many states have laws on the books that make assaulting healthcare workers in the performance of their duties, a felony. It is time that those tasked with ensuring a safe workplace and law enforcement take the responsibility that is theirs’ to enforce the law; not sweep the incidents aside.
District1199NM will be requesting Hospital Policies from each of our represented entities so we can work to protect our members from being victims of assault while on the job.
District1199NM commends Nurse Wubbel’s for doing her duty and protecting her patient! That’s what nurses do.
June 27, 2018: Today the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) handed down a descision on Janus v. AFSCME which dealt a serious blow to Public Sector Unions. This majority ruling will no longer allow Public Sector Unions to collect Agency Fees for members who are defined to be within a bargaining unit and refuse to pay union dues. Read more here.
The 2018 Cesar Chavez March was held on Saturday, April 7th and District1199NM was a proud participant in this event. More images are available in the Photo Gallery here.
What's New at District 1199NM
Our President Lorie Maclver, District1199NM, met with AFSCME's National President Lee Saunders, at the AFSCME- New Mexico Convention this past weekend.