As of mid-October 2023, bargaining sessions between our union and SHC will be led by a federal mediator.
What does federal mediation mean?
The negotiating parties (CIR and SHC) will now communicate only via the federal mediator for bargaining. Mediation sessions for CIR (e.g. CIR and mediator present, but not SHC) will still be open for housestaff members to attend on Zoom (next session TBD – you will receive a text update). SHC management will no longer be in the rooms with us.
Why are we doing this?
This was actually proposed by SHC, and after careful consideration from your bargaining team, we decided to accept this change and view this as a move in a positive direction. We are hopeful that this signals that SHC recognizes that our union is here to stay and that we won’t back down.
What does this change about bargaining?
Mediation is not binding at this point, and it does not limit our ability to take future collective actions. Mediation offers more flexibility than bargaining in terms of floating proposals. The federal mediator who has been selected is well known to our legal team and is typically pro-labor. We are hopeful that mediation will lead to a more expeditious contract resolution.
The actual bargaining meetings will likely feel different, since SHC management will no longer be in the rooms with us. We will be discussing our proposals/SHC’s counter-proposals with the federal mediator only, rather than with SHC’s lawyers.
Does this mean that we are at an impasse?
No. Mediation is often invoked when one party indicates that they have made their last and final order and bargaining reaches an impasse. SHC has suggested that they still have room to negotiate, and they offered to move to mediation prior to presenting their “best and last” offer. We are confident that we can continue to make significant gains, especially with the incredible engagement we have had from our housestaff.