Luncheon celebrates new AFSCME contact agreement

December 18, 2014 | News, UToday, Medicine and Life Sciences, UTMC
By Meghan Cunningham



A new collective bargaining agreement between The University of Toledo and the union representing about 1,900 employees on Health Science Campus was celebrated Thursday with a luncheon and contract signing.

At the ceremonial signing were, from left Jovita Thomas-Williams, UT associate vice president for human resources and talent development; Randy Desposito, president of AFSCME Local 2415; Dr. Nagi Naganathan, UT interim president; and Steve Kowalik, regional director of AFSCME Council 8.

At the ceremonial signing were, from left Jovita Thomas-Williams, UT associate vice president for human resources and talent development; Randy Desposito, president of AFSCME Local 2415; Dr. Nagi Naganathan, UT interim president; and Steve Kowalik, regional director of AFSCME Council 8.

Leaders of UT and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Ohio Council 8 and AFSCME Local 2415 ceremonially signed the new contract at the Dec. 18 event.

“I would like to thank the AFSCME members for their commitment to the highest quality patient care and their dedication to maintaining the strength of our university and medical center,” said Dr. Christopher Cooper, dean of the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, and senior vice president for clinical affairs. “Together, we are meeting the challenges of a constantly changing health-care environment.”

“The management and labor teams that worked diligently on this collective bargaining agreement have charted a course for the future of our institution that will benefit the University, our employees and the community at large,” said David Morlock, CEO of UTMC and executive vice president for finance and administration.

Morlock also thanked Jovita Thomas-Williams, UT associate vice president for human resources and talent development, for her leadership in the negotiations on behalf of the University.

“I would like to thank the University’s leadership, AFSCME Ohio Council 8 Local 2415’s negotiating committee, and our membership for their tireless preparation, commitment and patience throughout the very long negotiation process. The key to a successful negotiation is in the preparation, and the AFSCME executive board and our union stewards worked very hard with management to come up with a new three-year agreement,” said Randy Desposito, president of AFSCME Local 2415.

“As our employees continue to deliver the highest quality health care to the sick and injured in our community, AFSCME and management have agreed to establish labor/management committees to address the needs of our employees and the patients of this hospital. We have agreed to face our challenges collaboratively in an effort to improve the institution and the lives of our employees and the patients that we serve.”

AFSCME members and the UT Board of Trustees both approved earlier this fall the agreement that runs from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2017.

The contract calls for wage increases of 2.5 percent in year one and 1 percent in both years two and three. It also changes monthly health-care premiums to 20 percent as UT works to make premiums uniform across all collective bargaining units and employee groups.

The agreement provides employees and their dependents expedited primary care appointments at UTMC health-care facilities. It also establishes labor-management committees that will drive improvements in patient care and satisfaction.

“We were able to achieve convergence because of the spirit of collaboration between the teams,” Interim President Nagi Naganathan said. “And we will build on this foundation to ensure that our University remains a strong contributor to our region’s health-care needs.”