CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — HCA Healthcare is one of the largest hospital corporations in the country. A flyer was handed out to members by the union claiming that HCA has given the nurses unions two options:
- An undetermined amount of layoff which would eliminate a 401 (k) match for 2020
- Avoiding layoffs completely if nurses agree to go without any pay increase for the rest of the year
According to those with the union they said there's a legally binding union contract that guarantees pay rates, raises, differentials and maintenance of the retirement plan. A member of the National Nurses United Union shared with us there may be a press conference as early as tomorrow to discuss the situation.
Here is the union's response:
"It is unconscionable that HCA would demand pay cuts and reductions in benefit standards while Registered Nurses struggle to provide care for patients in HCA hospitals, often without proper personal protective equipment. At a time when nurses have put their lives on the line to protect HCA patients, amid the most dangerous global pandemic in a century, it defies belief that HCA, which has repeatedly failed to provide the protection nurses need, now wants to further punish them with punitive layoffs and other cuts,” Malinda Markowitz, RN, Vice President of National Nurses United said. "HCA has just received an additional $700M bailout from the federal government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, and an additional $4B in Medicare loans -- on top of more than $25B in profits the past decade. It is outrageous for HCA to use the cover of the pandemic to swell its massive profits at the expense of its dedicated caregivers, and the patients who will also be harmed by cuts in nursing staff."
Response from the CCMC:
At a time when hospitals across the country are struggling to survive and many are resorting to furloughs and layoffs, it is surprising and frankly disappointing that unions would demand pay raises for their members and may reject the continuation of a generous pay program that is providing continued paychecks for more the 100,000 colleagues. The goal of HCA Healthcare’s pandemic pay program is to keep our caregivers employed and receiving paychecks at a time when hospitals throughout the country are experiencing significant declines in patient volume and there is not enough work for them. More than 16,000 union members have benefited from this program, even though it is not part of their contract. The program was initially slated to last until May 16 and has been extended through June 27. We are maintaining our focus on keeping as many of our colleagues employed as we can, despite the lower volumes. Colleagues elsewhere in the organization are forgoing wage increases, and executive leadership, corporate and division colleagues and hospital CEOs, CFOs, CMOs, CNOs, and COOs have taken pay cuts. While the union appears to be focused on pay raises for some, our priority is on all our colleagues and their families.
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