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News: 2012-05-18 Providence Voluntary Separation Program

Providence Voluntary Separation Program

On May 14, Providence offered a voluntary separation program (VSP) to its employees. This is similar to what we commonly call “early retirement” or a “severance package,” and would be an opportunity for nurses to resign and receive some sort of monetary payment, and Providence would reduce its workforce without having to have a mandatory lay-off/reduction in force.

Providence did not provide ONA enough time or information to discuss this program (just 4 days), and the Association was not able to have questions answered and reach an agreement to include nurses in the initial announcement.

We do know that Providence wants to offer the nurses the same VSP as the rest of its employees. A nurse who likes the terms of the VSP and wants to resign would submit a request to Providence. The manager of the nurse’s unit would review all the requests and decide if he/she is able to accept all, or only some of the requests. ONA plans to discuss the details with the Medical Center because these are terms that must be negotiated that we believe are best resolved at the front end. Things we would want to discuss could be: what happens if three nurses want to take the VSP, but only one can be granted? Should this be based on seniority/years of service? What about the effect on the unit staffing model? Would this need to be brought to the staffing committee?

All of the ONA Labor Representatives contacted their respective Human Resources Director and requested that we meet as a group to work out the details as the plan is the same at each facility, and to make this process more efficient and consistent. Human Resources staff sent each ONA Labor Representative a letter telling us that they will not meet with us as a group and want to meet separately. We were disappointed as this seems to undermine Providence’s message of efficiency, stewardship of resources and partnership. Nonetheless, we are now working on scheduling times to meet at each facility.

We will keep you posted as this progresses, and for more frequent updates please continue to check back to your BU web pages.

 

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