Indiana Regional nurses want more talks despite hospital declaring impasse

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Nurses at Indiana (Pa.) Regional Medical Center, represented by the Indiana Registered Nurses Association and Pennsylvania State Education Association-Healthcare Local No. 5120, are at odds with the hospital over the state of contract discussions, The Indiana Gazette reports.

Earlier this month, the hospital claimed that the 384 workers and the hospital had reached a stalemate in contract talks, but the nurses are urging the administration to continue negotiations. IRMC said nurses had failed to accept the hospital's "last, best and final" contract offer, and announced it would implement its proposed health insurance plan July 1, according to the report.

The announcement was made about a month after IRNA/PSEA members voted to authorize a strike. However, a walkout has not been scheduled.

The union's attorney, Richard McEwen, told the hospital's attorneys that IRNA may file an unfair labor practice charge against IRMC through the National Labor Relations Board, according to the report.

"The association vehemently disputes the medical center's declaration of impasse and is shocked and appalled that the association's good faith bargaining efforts have not been reciprocated by the medical center," Mr. McEwen wrote in a letter, according to The Indiana Gazette.

IRMC disagreed.

"When talks are stalled after 18 bargaining sessions over an eight-month period and our last, best and final offer has been on the table since February, there are no other indications that the IRNA/PSEA union representatives would take a very competitive offer to its membership," a hospital spokesman wrote, according to the report.

The hospital added that union members should have a chance to vote on IRMC's final offer, and it hopes union leadership will bring this proposal to the membership for a ratification vote, according to the report.



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