Under Janus Law, Baker explained, not all employees must join the union, but the contracts of guild members are renegotiated every three years.
Under the new contract, licensed practical nurses will have minimum wages of $17 per hour, a $1 increase from the last contract period.
Maximum pay is $26 an hour for licensed practical nurses. Minimum pay for registered nurses is $20 per hour, also a $1 increase from the previous contact period. Maximum pay is $31 per hour.
In the first year of the contract, PGO members were expected to receive a $1 raise, 25 cents up from last year’s contract. In the second and third years of the contract, guild members are expected to receive a 2.5% wage increase, a stipulation that mirrors last contract period.
Nurses of the Board of Developmental Disabilities, Baker said, overcame numerous obstacles during the pandemic. To start, wearing personal protective equipment that blocks the face can make it challenging for a nurse to communicate with a patient, but communication becomes even more challenging when the patient communicates through non-verbal means.
Second, additional precautions that became necessary during the pandemic, such as the regular administration of COVID-19 tests, added to the list of daily tasks for the board’s nurses, Baker said.
Many with developmental disabilities are immunocompromised, putting them at high risk for COVID-19 infection. In addition to that fear, nurses of the Board of Developmental Disabilities feared coming into contact with the virus and passing it along to their loved ones.
The current contract is in effect until June 2023.