Hospitals and unions: 13 recent conflicts, agreements

The following is a roundup of recent events pertaining to hospital-union relationships, including strikes, rallies and new contract agreements. All events were reported in September, beginning with the most recent.

1.  The United Nurses and Allied Professionals Local 5098, which represents employees at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, approved a new three-year deal with the hospital's operator, Lifespan. The approval came after workers voted down a previous contract offer from Lifespan.

2. SEIU Healthcare Michigan, the state's largest healthcare union, is preparing for a possible strike over a contract dispute affecting workers at a Mercy Health Muskegon (Mich.) nursing unit.

3. Nurses at Shore Medical Center in Somers Point, N.J., who are members of the Shore Nurses Union/New York State Nurses Association, plan to strike for one day Oct. 8.

4. The Service Employees International Union, Local 1199, which represents 52,000 healthcare workers in Massachusetts, accused Boston-based Tufts Medical Center of using aggressive means to discourage hospital employees from unionizing.

5. Healthcare workers at Pottstown (Pa.) Memorial Medical Center, members of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, plan to strike for one day in October.

6. The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United withdrew a petition for holding a second union election at Modesto, Calif.-based Memorial Medical Center.

7. The National Labor Relations Board ruled that Danbury (Conn.) Hospital and New Milford (Conn.) Hospital interfered with a union election in June, and ordered a second election.   

8. Worcester, Mass.-based UMass Memorial Health Care is making efforts to improve relationships with its unions. The efforts are being spearheaded by Bart Metzger, senior vice president and chief human resources officer for UMass Memorial, who, along with his representatives, has signed nine contracts with labor unions since he started at the hospital in March. Now, Mr. Metzger is fixing "transactional services," which he describes as broken. These include the job application system and hiring nurses before a new round of contract talks next year, according to a Telegram & Gazette report.

9. Registered nurses at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia, Calif., approved a new contract with the hospital.

10. About 900 healthcare workers at Poughkeepsie, N.Y-based MidHudson Regional Hospital got a new contract.

11. Two hundred and twenty healthcare workers at Orange, Calif.-based Chapman Global Medical Center voted to join SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West.

12. Certified nursing assistants, mental health technicians and emergency medical technicians at Eagleville (Pa.) Hospital voted to be represented by the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals. The vote came after union members and state lawmakers rallied outside of the hospital to express disapproval of the alleged illegal practices the hospital has taken against its nurses while they were preparing to unionize.

13. Nurses at Easton (Pa.) Hospital reached an agreement with the hospital after months of negotiations.


More articles on workforce and labor management:

Providence provides employee bonuses for nurse referrals
Nurses, physicians call for administrative changes and greater transparency at Eastern Niagara Hospital
The power of pausing after a death

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