AHS and SEIU held a negotiation session on July 22, 2020 to continue bargaining for a successor agreement.

When the parties last met on June 25th, AHS provided SEIU General Unit with approximately 19 proposals and counter-proposals to begin the process of meaningful dialogue and negotiation.

In order to prepare a response and issue its own counter proposals for our July 22nd meeting, SEIU requested a full day of paid release time for the SEIU bargaining team. AHS granted the request.

SEIU provided AHS with nine counter proposals. Two of the nine had been previously provided to AHS and they restated the rejection of articles. Therefore, AHS received only seven new proposals from SEIU. Some of the proposals provided by SEIU and discussed were:

Article 17 – Benefit Provisions: SEIU proposed that health plans be offered to employees at $0 cost, while at the same time insisting that the dependent eligibility verification only be conducted when AHS has “reasonable belief of intentional fraud on the part of the employee.”

It was explained to SEIU that the dependent eligibility verification process is something all employees are subject to and is designed to ensure that only eligible dependents are covered by AHS’s health plans.

AHS offers generous and competitive benefit plans with its most popular plan, Freedom of Choice, ranging in cost from $822 (employee only) to $2,326 (employee + 2 or more), which is fully paid by AHS.

It is our responsibility to competently steward the limited and invaluable resources we have to sustain the quality and access to benefits for our employees and continue our mission of caring, healing, teaching, and serving all.

Article 9 – Leaves of Absence: On June 25th, AHS proposed extensive changes to the current Leaves of Absence article so that the full complement of available leaves are listed along with the actions required by the Employer. This is designed to ensure a smooth transition from going on leave to returning from leave.

SEIU rejected AHS’s proposal without much discussion except to say that they did not find the outlining of processes and protocols useful.

AHS’s objective in this article is to provide transparency and clarity when it comes to leave of absence – for employees to know their rights and for managers to understand their responsibility in effectuating the leave.

The parties reached tentative agreement on two articles: Article 3 – Union Communication, Contacts and Article 5 – Patient Care Committee.

AHS is committed to negotiating in good faith and proposed six meeting dates in the month of August. SEIU has accepted two of the six dates offered – August 12th and 14th.