Backus Hospital nurses reach agreement after 2-day strike


Registered nurses at Hartford HealthCare's Backus Hospital in Norwich, Conn., have reached a tentative contract agreement with hospital management after a two-day strike that began Oct. 13, according to union and hospital officials.

Backus Federation of Nurses, AFT Local 5149, which represents about 415 nurses at Backus Hospital and its partner medical facilities, had been negotiating with the hospital for months to resolve contract issues about patient care, workplace safety and recruitment and retention, according to the union. Nurses authorized a strike in September over these issues and issued a strike notice Oct. 2. A strike began Oct. 13 and ended Oct. 15. 

"We are pleased that ongoing negotiations between the hospital and the nurses' union have led to agreement on a fair and responsible contract," Backus Hospital President Donna Handley, BSN, RN, said in a statement shared with Becker's. "We greatly value and respect our nurse colleagues and the critical roles they play in our hospital. This is why we have worked hard to seek an agreement to allow us to continue to work together to fight the pandemic and protect our community."

The tentative agreement reached Oct. 17 includes pay comparable in contract year three to nurses at Hartford HealthCare's Windham Hospital in Willimantic, Conn., according to a union summary obtained by the Connecticut Post.

Union officials said the tentative agreement also addresses the use of personal protective equipment and includes reduced health insurance premiums, as well as retroactive bonuses on ratification, according to the publication. 

Union members will vote on the tentative deal Oct. 21.


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