CPMC's battle with its nurses continues

CPMC has long sought to build this Cathedral Hill hospital at the corner of Van Ness Avenue and Geary Boulevard.

CNA labor rep Nato Green told the Guardian that CPMC is trying to low-ball its nurses to help pay for the two hospitals and a proposed expansion of its Davies Campus. “It’s to pay for all the construction they want to do…CPMC wants to stick us with a worse contract even than at other Sutter facilities,” Green said, accusing CPMC of trying to break the union. “CPMC believes this is their opportunity to get rid of 60 years of union representation.”

CPMC spokesperson Kevin McCormack said both its salary offers and the health plan it instituted have been as good or better than what CNA has accepted at other facilities, and the reason for the protracted impasse is CNA‘s insistence that workers at the upscale Cathedral Hill hospital be union members.

“The difference is we’re building a new hospital and it might open as a non-CNA facility,” McCormack said, calling the disputed health plan “the same plan that they’ve accepted at other facilities.”

But the NLRB complaint faults CPMC for unilaterally changing the terms of the contract that expired in 2007, first by changing the work hours and duties for pediatric and neonatal nurses last July, then by imposing a new health plan that steeply increases costs for using non-Sutter specialists, in both cases without bargaining in good faith for the changes.

“It was presented at fait accompli, and then they just imposed it. It’s on ongoing systemic problem with CPMC,” Green said. “It demonstrates what we’ve been saying all along, that they aren’t trustworthy.”