By DIANE S. WILLIAMS
In June, DC 37 stopped management from assigning 29 Local 420 members out-of-title duties and resolved a group grievance against North Central Bronx Hospital for nearly $500,000.
“These members were clearly performing duties of the higher paid Behavioral Health Associate title. We are glad NYC H+H recognized the need to resolve this grievance after the first day of hearings,” said union lawyer Terri Nilliasca.
One of the 29, Patient Care Technician Tyrone Wayne, said he was performing out-of-title duties from the time he was hired in 2001.
Wayne said he restrained and medicated patients and de-escalated fights between patients. One day a patient attacked him. Wayne sustained injuries to his neck and shoulder that may require surgery.
With limited crisis intervention training, Wayne and Patient Care Associates were assigned to control patients — the duties of BHA’s higher-paid titles — with no additional compensation for the risks involved.
Council Rep Joel Viera-Vera, of DC 37’s Hospitals and Healthcare Professionals Division, filed the group grievance in 2014.
“It was clear that managers were not adhering to job specifications and created a major safety hazard that cost NYC H+H almost half a million dollars to rectify,” said Local 420 President Carmen Charles.“By standing together, members won a significant victory and protected their rights.”
Individual pretax payouts ranged between $1,700 and $24,000. The stipulation also requires NYC H+H to offer the grievants the chance to apply for and be promoted to BHA jobs, and to implement workplace violence prevention.
“This is a huge step in defining who responds to volatile situations,” Charles said. “Our union protects members’ rights to appropriate salary, training, and support. Any member who believes they are working out of title should speak up and we’ll file a grievance.”