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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Gracedale Nurses Victim of Unfair Labor Practice

Back in October, an arbitrator upheld claims by AFSCME Local 1435, the union representing about 850 workers at Gracedale. When NorCo Executive John Brown decided to reduce health care benefits, he had an obligation to bargain for it. This lapse, according to Brown himself, could end up costing the County $1 million.

Now comes word, from The Morning Call's Anthony Salamone, that the County has now found itself at the wrong end of an unfair labor practice determination, courtesy of the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board. This is on basically the same issue, but involves about 50 nursers. They are represented by the Steelworkers Union, headed up by Mean Jerry Green.

Green tells me that the nurses have gone without a contract since 2010.

He expected differently. When he was running for executive, John Brown promised Jerry that he'd meet with him if he was elected. When that happened, Jerry called for an appointment. But Brown was going on vacation, and told him to call later. Jerry did, and has yet to sit down with Brown.

The person he has been dealing with is none other than Cathy Allen, Brown's most trusted ally in his administration. She was so inexperienced when it came to human relations that she actually thought she could punish corrections officers who have already been disciplined once for an offense. She has been at the county helm in negotiations with Jerry, and has been attempting to go backwards.

Incidentally, tha pay for a registered nurse with no seniority is about $23.75. Guess what it is for a registered nurse with ten years? $23.75. Guess what it is for a registered nurse with 20 years? $23.75. That's about $10 per hour below the average wage paid to registered nurses in Pa.

That's why Gracedale can't keep nurses, according to Jerry.

When Allen began negotiating, she actually wanted to go backwards, just like she wanted to impose multiple punishments for the same offense at the jail. A person who makes that kind of basic error would think nothing of unilaterally reducing benefits without consulting the union.

When you look at the ruling, check out the procedural history. The County was obviously dragging its feet.

The County has been directed to start bargaining in good faith. The ruling below should be posted conspicuoulsy. The County has 20 days to reinstate the health care benefits it unilaterally eliminated.


Anonymous said...

Damn insomnia and sheer boredom got me reading this blog again...after I swore not to because of the idiocy of some of the comments. I definitely don't agree with 12:45's comment, but it was on topic. And right away you all start in with the personal attacks. Smh.

Anonymous said...

I believe those numbers aren't accurate & I assure you most of the RN's at GD aren't hands on like in the hospital.

Anonymous said...

nurses represented by the steel workers union? get rid of this mess.

if the unions love it so much, sell it to the unions and let them run it.

get out of the business of owning and operating this place.

I am sure the people who work there , do a great job and take care of those in need, but enough is enough. as soon as all the unions can come up with the cash, let them buy it.

How many businesses have the unions paid for and own ?

Anonymous said...

What's another couple of million added to Gracedale's mounting losses. Give 'em raises. Let's party!

Bernie O'Hare said...

They came in under target. A target that assumes increasing operating losses topping $10 million and more as far as the eye can see.



Anonymous said...

What is the deficits at Gracedale, Why did they come in under budget in the first quarter. Listen to Brown his figures were way over shot.


Anonymous said...

Brown amd Kathy Allen are most incompetent and unprofessional. Bet many wished they would've voted Callahan


Anonymous said...

"With the illegal pay raises to Linda Markwith and to Lorraine Shintz"

Are you serious? Who is Markwith cozy with now? God God I would think she is too old to be showing leg at this point. I thought the new HR Director was going to fix all this. Apparee4mnlty she is not.

more money for uneducated, unprofessional pets.


Bernie O'Hare said...

Gracedale is why we can't have nice things. Just give them the raises. It's only money and the mounting operating deficits are so large, it's like Monopoly money. Let's all pretend things are fine and money grows on trees.


Anonymous said...

No one would listen to Ron Angle. I have NO sympathy for these nurses. If they worked in a private facility which Gracedale should be then they would ne making standard rates of 30 dollars an hours PLUS!
Don't Boo Hoo...... you wanted the place kept under county control....the price you pay.
Umm where are your asset grabbing family members now since you backed them up to keep it county and not sell it private. Just around the corner a nurse starts out at $37.5- pe/r hour... and good bene's too...... oops did I mention its a private nursing facility.
So No Boo Hoo.... for you... you wanted the taxpayers of this country stuck with that place so earn your sub standard wages to keep it open.


Bernie O'Hare said...

I do work at Gracedale, but not in nursing. My daughter is a private sector nurse. Do not get me started. Gracedale nurses have it good.


Bernie O'Hare said...

There is no private facility in this state that starts a nurse at $37.50 with or without benefits. Stop spreading rumors. Ask Gracedale nurses how much they get to work a holiday? Double-time. Ask a private sector nurse how much she gets? Time and a half if its one of the lucky six paid holidays, not 15.


Bernie O'Hare said...

From Jerry Green - Hi Bernie, I'm new to your site and thanks 4 the coverage. Just to keep you updated, we met with the County yesterday and it was more of the same delay tactics including Cathy Allen opening the meeting informing us that the County is appealing the P.L.R.B decision. Very unproductive meeting. Bring back Mr Russel

Bernie O'Hare said...

It has been nothing but BLUNDER after BLUNDER after Blunder for this Brown Administration. That is because he listens to the advice of very inexperienced County Government Staff which he appointed. With his illegal pay raises, he also bought off any objectivity advice he may have received from his first line career service employees. With the illegal pay raises to Linda Markwith and to Lorraine Shintz (and to Kathy Allen who is a dunderhead) He has lost personnel lawsuits and unfair labor practices because he hasn't any idea on how to manage a personnel system and neither does any of his staff. The last time a personnel study was done was in the early 90's and it is long overdue. Let's settle once and for all if the County employees are overpaid or underpaid. Let's take into consideration their benefit packages as well as their hourly rate and make the corrections accordingly. This will settle once and for all these ridiculous accusations and innuendo's that our County workers are overpaid. C'mon County Council. Do your job.

Posted anonymously at 9:15 am

Bernie O'Hare said...

more whinny pants bs from unions. gimme, gimme, gimme

Posted anonymously at 8:37 am

Bernie O'Hare said...

The nurses at Gracedale have a better deal than ANY private sector nurse in the industry. Private sector nurses are not blessed with the taxpayer dole on benefits, holidays (15?) sick, vacation and personal time, nor with the job security that comes with a government job.

Go to HCR ManorCare and see what you get, if you are so disappointed. The private sector did away with full time nurses 15 years ago. Be happy with what you have.

Posted anonymously at 12:34 am

Anonymous said...

Go to the website allnurses.com, they have a 2016 salary survey going on right now. RN wages are a lot higher than our county executive thinks.

Anonymous said...

Notice how the "ladies" in HR always make sure they get raises. One should ask the HR Director to look into how they got their jobs to begin with. Word is one was a donors wife the other knew how to be friendly with the right people or person.

Anonymous said...

Well one of the "ladies" is no longer there so I guess there really is a new Queen bee in the hive. Hopefully, this means HR really is getting cleaned up!

Anonymous said...

4:43Am you are absolutely right. That is exactly what happened. None of these people were qualified for their jobs.