UIHC nurses union rejects pay cut, freeze on raises in response to COVID-19
IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - The union that represents about 4,000 nurses at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics rejects a request to forego raises and take pay cuts to help offset hospital losses from COVID-19.
The SEIU chapter for UIHC posted on Facebook that UIHC administrators asked members to skip a planned 2.1% raise set to take effect July 1 and to take a 10% pay cut for 3 months.
Union leaders say they offered a counter-proposal that would have accepted pay cuts in exchange for restoring policies lost when a new state law stripped union bargaining power in a 2017. That included a formal grievance process for employee complaints.
The Union says the Board of Regents rejected that proposal.
“The process of negotiations are a give and take process, but in this instance, we were giving and they only wanted to take,” SEIU leaders wrote on Facebook. “In essence, they were asking us to give up so much and were willing to offer us nothing in return. Is this the thanks we get after working on the frontlines of the pandemic for months, and continuing to for the foreseeable future?”
UIHC says it is facing a more than $10 million dollar loss due to shutdowns, restrictions and added precautions in response to COVID-19. The hospital has warned staff of the potential for cuts but has said that layoffs are a last resort.
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