Bartlett hospital, employees still apart on contract

Hospital, unions have less than 2 weeks until old contract expires

Posted: Sunday, December 19, 2004

Bartlett Regional Hospital has been negotiating a new contract with its employees since September, but some employees found the hospital's proposed contract unacceptable.

The city-owned hospital and the employee unions have less than two weeks to reach agreement. The current contract, which went into effect in January of 2002, expires Dec. 31.

Hospital administrators and union representatives declined to discuss details of the contract publicly. But union representative John Bukoskey said health benefits are a major concern.

Marck Beattie, human resource system administrator at Bartlett, said the contract negotiation covers 350 employees; about 75 percent of the hospital staff.

"The union can appeal the board's decision. Our hope is that the folks will accept our offer."

Marck Beattie

Bartlett human resources administrator

"The contract doesn't cover the supervisory folks, confidential positions, administrative and executive staff," Beattie said.

But Beattie said the contract eventually may affect every employee.

"Generally provisions out of a contract such as wage and benefits are implemented equally across the staff, although legally we don't need to do that," Beattie said.

Beattie said if the unions don't accept the contract, the hospital board will either continue operating under the old contract or vacate the old contract and implement the new one.

"The union can appeal the board's decision," Beattie said. "Our hope is that the folks will accept our offer."

The hospital board will discuss the contract negotiation at an executive session at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday in the hospital's administrative building.

• I-Chun Che can be reached at ichun.che@juneauempire.com.



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