Hospitals and Unions: 8 Recent Developments

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

1. Lawrence + Memorial Union Employees Authorize Strike
Unionized employees, members of two local chapters of AFT Connecticut, at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital in New London, Conn., authorized union leaders to call a strike.

2. Strike Averted at Cabell Huntington Hospital as Employees Approve Contract
Members of SEIU District 1199 at Cabell Huntington (W.Va.) Hospital approved a new contract offer Nov. 13, avoiding a scheduled strike.

3. University of California Workers to Strike at Medical Centers, Campuses
A union representing support and medical services employees, AFSCME Local 3299, called for a one-day strike on University of California campuses and hospitals on Nov. 20.

4. University of Kansas Hospital, Nurses Union File Impasse Declaration
Kansas City-based University of Kansas Hospital and the Kansas University Nurses Association filed a petition with the Kansas Public Employee Relations Board for a declaration of impasse after an agreement was not reached after 15 negotiating sessions.

5. Regional Hospital of Scranton Union Delays Planned Strike
A union-led one-day strike, planned to occur Nov. 13 at Regional Hospital of Scranton (Pa.), was postponed until Dec. 4. SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania members cited the hospital's willingness to negotiate as the reason the strike date was pushed back.

6. University of New Mexico Hospital Union Files Complaint Over Flu Shot Policy
The union representing employees at Albuquerque-based University of New Mexico Hospital filed a complaint with the UNM Labor Management Relations Board over the hospital's mandatory flu vaccine policy for employees.

7. Workers Picket Against Cuts at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island
Employees at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island in Providence picketed Oct. 23 in protest of planned cuts at the hospital. District 1199 Service Employees International Union New England was involved in the picket.

8. Dignity Health Sues Union Over Strike Demonstrations
San Francisco-based Dignity Health sued the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 39 and the AFL-CIO, claiming rallies and demonstrations that are part of a strike at four of its hospitals in the Bay Area are hurting hospital business.

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