Victory ensures safer, healthier working environment for Ironwood LVNs
Temporary relocation caused heat exhaustion, slips and falls for members
Bargaining Unit 20 LVNs working at Ironwood State Prison have been assured of safer and healthier working conditions during prison construction after filing a grievance and ultimately winning a settlement during arbitration.
In July of 2015, nurses from the “A” yard were temporarily located into the prison gym as a result of a construction project. Our members were subjected to excessive levels of heat and humidity—exacerbated by ineffective swamp coolers—and reported multiple cases of heat exhaustion. Makeshift hose connections to the coolers and mats caused other members to slip and fall.
The parties initially deadlocked on settling the arbitration when the state would not agree to refrain from using the gym as a temporary location year-round during future construction projects – including the cold winter months.
In the final settlement of the grievance, CDCR agreed to not use the gym for LVNs during June, July, August and September 2016. CDCR additionally agreed that, should any of the four anticipated construction projects require the relocation of LVNs, CDCR will notify Local 1000 of the potential relocation and meet and negotiate with the Union and its members over the impact of any planned changes.
“Expecting our members to provide health care in these conditions was outrageous,” says Tamekia N. Robinson, vice president for organizing/representation. “Representation by Local 1000 at Ironwood made all the difference for these hardworking nurses.