Hospitals and unions: 31 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 since June, beginning with the most recent.

1. 1199SEIU, the union that represents workers at Nashoba Valley Medical Center in Ayer, Mass., part of Boston-based Steward Health Care System, reached a tentative contract with management. The agreement affects 170 workers, ranging from radiology techs, to admissions counselors, to many other integral positions on the healthcare team.

2.  The National Labor Relations Board certified the California Nurses Association/National Nurses United as the union representative for 1,200 registered nurses at Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente's flagship Southern California hospital, the Los Angeles Medical Center.

3. Dozens of nurses protested outside of St. Petersburg (Fla.) General Hospital over staffing levels and wages.

4. The National Labor Relations Board said they will investigate complaints the Western Connecticut Health Network in Brookfield intimidated and coerced nursing assistants and other employees before an unsuccessful unionization vote.

5. The Massachusetts Nurses Association union is pushing a workplace violence bill that would add enhanced plans around workplace safety.

6. Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville, Wash., was cited by the Washington State Department of Health for violating a state law aimed at making sure nurses and hospitals collaborate to create nurse staffing plans that keep patients safe. The Washington State Nurses Association filed the complaint that lead to the state investigation and is in the midst of contract negotiations with the hospital.

7. The National Labor Relations Board ruled that Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) General Hospital violated federal labor law by withholding longevity-based pay from nurses last year. The hospital's owner, Franklin, Tenn.-based Community Health Systems, is obligated to retroactively pay the nurses the back wages they are owed from February 2014 to September 2014, when they ratified their new contract.

8. Registered nurses at three California hospitals operated by Renton, Wash.-based Providence Health and Services reached a tentative contract with hospital officials. The pact affects Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center San Pedro, Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance and Saint John'sHealth Center in Santa Monica.

9. Nearly 350 workers at Unity Hospital in Fridley, Minn., voted to unionize

10. A hospital labor union official with the Health Professionals and Allied Employees accused the New Jersey Department of Health of failing to hold the for-profit, Secaucus, N.J.-based Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center accountable for violating state regulations.

11. Nurses and other healthcare workers planned to hold a picket outside Renton, Wash.-based Valley Medical Center over staffing levels.

12. United Nurses & Allied Professionals planned to hold a picket in front of Rhode Island Hospital in Providence as contract negotiations continued.

13. The Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses & Allied Professionals sent out mailers in an attempt to reach an agreement with Kittanning, Pa.-based ACMH Hospital.

14. Bangor-based Eastern Maine Medical Center and the union that represents nurses there reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract. Prior to reaching the agreement, the nurses had issued a strike notice to the hospital.

15. Nurses at Lahey Health's Beverly (Mass.) Hospital and Addison Gilbert Hospital in Gloucester, Mass., accused Lahey Health of violating Massachusetts' mandatory overtime law.

16. Staten Island (N.Y.) University Hospital reached a tentative contract in time to avert a strike.  

17. HealthAlliance Hospital in Leominster, Mass., and the Massachusetts Nurses Association reached a tentative contract agreement.

18. More than 150 nurses and healthcare workers picketed in front of two CarePoint Health hospitals — Bayonne (N.J.) Medical Center and Christ Hospital in Jersey City, N.J. The workers, who are represented by The Health Professionals and Allied Employees union, picketed for a "fair contract" and "safe staffing."

19. Nurses at Staten Island, N.Y.-based Richmond University Medical Center, represented by the New York State Nurses Association, reached a tentative contract with the hospital in time to avert a strike.

20. Registered nurses at Gloversville, N.Y.-based Nathan Littauer Hospital and Schenectady, N.Y.-based Ellis Medicine voted to authorize a strike.

21. Nurses at Newton, Mass.-based Newton-Wellesley Hospital reached a tentative contract with the hospital in time to avert a one-day strike.

22. About 800 nursing assistants and other workers at Danbury (Conn.) Hospital and New Milford (Conn.) Hospital voted not to unionize.

23. Nurses at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor and hospital administrators agreed to a short-term contract extension.

24. The New York State Nurses Association union and the NYC Hospital Alliance reached a tentative four-year agreement that covers approximately 8,500 nurses.

25. Nurses at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Pa., ratified a new five-year contract with the hospital.

26. Nurses at Worcester, Mass.-based UMass Memorial Medical Center agreed to a one-year contract with the hospital.

27. Workers at Orleans Community Health in Medina, N.Y., and management reached a tentative contract and averted a one-day strike.

28. Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente and the Coalition of Kaiser Permanente Unions reached a tentative agreement that will cover 105,000 unionized Kaiser Permanente healthcare workers in 28 local unions.

29. Registered nurses with Cook County Health and Hospitals System in Chicago, along with community supporters, were scheduled to picket Chicago-based John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital over staffing and wage issues.

30. Roughly 1,200 service and technical workers at Pittsburgh-based Allegheny General Hospital voted to join SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania.

31. Thousands of nurses from the New York State Nurses Association authorized a strike at multiple leading New York City hospitals.

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