$10M spent on temp staff for strike next week, Lifespan says

Lifespan, the parent company of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence, has paid $10 million to a temp agency to replace workers during a planned strike next week, according to the Providence Journal.

The announcement came July 17, after workers represented by United Nurses and Allied Professionals Local 5098 notified hospital officials of their intent to walk off the job.

"In order to provide continuous, quality patient care in the event of a strike, we have now paid $10 million to a temporary staffing agency, [Huffmaster Strike Services], which enables them to mobilize people, make travel arrangements and secure accommodations."

Lifespan said that $10 million will come out of the wage offer in its final proposal to workers.

Union spokesperson Ray Sullivan took issue with the plans in the union's statement to the Providence Journal.

"UNAP's dedicated nurses and caregivers have no intention of negotiating with a gun to their heads," Mr. Sullivan said. "As of now, there are no plans to resume talks until Lifespan ceases its attacks on the union’s protected rights to collectively bargain and strike.

"Lifespan chose this path by not offering a competitive contract that values the tireless, lifesaving efforts our members bring to the bedsides every day. We remain committed to winning an equitable deal, but for now, the strike is on and we are ready to see it through," Mr. Sullivan stated.

The strike is set to begin at 3 p.m. July 23 and end at 3 p.m. July 26. However, Lifespan said unionized workers won't be able to return to their jobs until 3 p.m. July 27 due to its minimum commitment to the temporary staff.

Workers issued a strike notice after rejecting a tentative three-year agreement with Lifespan. A strike could still be averted if both sides reach a resolution.

UNAP Local 5098 represents 2,400 nurses, therapists, technologists and other professionals at Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children's. 


More articles on human capital and risk:
Rhode Island hospital workers reject Lifespan offer, plan to strike
McLaren Lapeer Region nurses authorize strike
Research Says Nurses from All Generations Want the Same Thing at Work

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