Unit 17 Bargaining Update for Friday, July 26, 2019
Unit 17 Presses State for a Better Work/Life Balance for Nurses


Unit 17 bargaining team went to the table Friday and continued its efforts to create opportunities for better work schedules.

Many of our nurses work in 24-hour facilities and often are subject to management’s rigid scheduling practices, which don’t offer a lot of flexibility and few chances to make changes. In response, our team submitted stronger contract language for adjustable scheduling opportunities.

“Quality of life and a healthier work/life balance is critical for the morale of our nurses,” said Kim Cowart, Unit 17 bargaining chair. “It also affects our ability to do our job and the quality of patient care we provide.”

Nearly 1000 Unit 17 nurses have jobs that require they travel and the ability to telework/telecommute. However, the practice isn’t applied uniformly across departments and often differs from worksite to worksite.

Unit 17 presented the following two proposals:

  • Stronger language that compels the state to make telecommuting and telework available to more Unit 17 employees and to ensure that the criteria used to evaluate remote work opportunities is more uniformly applied.
  • Revised language making flexible/alternate work schedules (AWS) more available to Unit 17 employees by mandating that departments offer flex/AWS (i.e. more 10- and 12-hour shifts) instead of simply responding to—and all too often denying—requests from employees.

Eight different articles from previous contract wins were proposed as “roll over” language and the member rights granted by them preserved.

As bargaining continues, we’ll be providing updated progress reports each time Unit 17 returns to the table with the state.