The existing contract with the union expired on June 30, 2022. Union members include public health nurses who work in clinics, schools and daycares, as well as employees who play a larger role in health public service for the city, including the control of infectious diseases. , environmental health and vaccinations. Employees are classified as 10-month or 12-month employees, with full-time and part-time employees among them.
The proposed new three-year agreement would be retroactive to July 1, 2022, upon its full adoption by the City. According to a description of the terms of the contract set out in a resolution of city council, the agreement provides for a retroactive general salary increase of 2.25% for the current fiscal year. The agreement includes a general salary increase of 2.2% for fiscal year 2024 and an increase of 2.15% for fiscal year 2025.
The proposed deal includes a number of language changes from the current contract, including a change to the trial period for new hires from six months to one year. The proposed wording also removes all references to “8.75 hour days” from the contract. The work week for these employees is 35 hours per week.
The contract resolution also outlines other changes, including adding 25 hours of overtime that the city would grant to public health nurses employed in city schools for those nurses “to use during the year. school if nurses feel more time in their day job is needed to complete mapping and other tasks.
During Wednesday night’s finance talks, Joséphine Agnello-Veley, the city’s director of human resources, explained the reasons for extending the probationary period.
Agnello-Veley, responding to a question from Deputy Mayor Michael Cardona, explained that supervisors have found that it takes a full school year to properly assess how well new employees based in city schools are taking on these roles. . Agnello-Veley noted that the majority of communication between these employees and their supervisors is done remotely, through email, for example.
“It’s a better way to assess if someone is a good fit and is going to function well,” Agnello-Veley said.
The provision giving employees 25 overtime hours throughout their 10-month-a-year employment allows them to use those hours, likely after school, to do graphics and other tasks.
“There are nurses who can do the job at the end of the day,” Agnello-Veley said. “Sometimes they need those extra hours.”
Councilor Dan Brunet asks Agnello-Veley about the deletion of the mentions “day of 8.75 hours”.
“What are the ramifications? asked Brunet.
Agnello-Veley replied that those hours were for nurses who work four days a week.
The proposed contract wording also removes all references to the “program coordinator role”, which is a position that is no longer used. The proposal also changes the required resignation notification from two weeks to 30 days. Employees who work 10 months a year are not entitled to vacation.
The proposed contract also incentivizes employees to pursue master’s studies, providing for annual stipend increases. For example, for the current year, the proposal would provide an annual stipend of $1,000 for a master’s degree, while the annual stipend for nurses with a bachelor’s degree for that same year would be $500.
Nurses are members of Public Health Nurses, Unit #8, Connecticut Healthcare Associations, National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees, AFSCME, AFLCIO.
In another action, the committee voted to recommend the transfer of $238,950 of previously unspent city capital improvement funds to the ongoing Meriden Library renovation and expansion project, to fund technology building upgrades that were previously not funded in the project budget. The committee also recommended the reallocation of $125,877 unspent from the library’s operating budget, due to staff reductions, to cover the cost of moving library shelves into the unfinished building.