Nurses will be barred from work if they strike, Pennsylvania hospital leaders say

Indiana (Pa.) Regional Medical Center nurses have scheduled a one-day strike for Nov. 26. However, hospital leaders said striking nurses won't be able to return to work for the rest of that week if a walkout occurs, according to The Tribune-Democrat.

Hospital leaders asked nurses to cancel the strike by noon Nov. 21 due to costs that would result from the action. But if the strike isn't canceled, the hospital said it must hire temporary replacement workers for at least five days, and nurses who don't cross the picket lines the first day would not be allowed to return to work until the temporary staffing commitment ends, according to the report.

The hospital estimates the temporary staffing costs would be more than $1.5 million and said the cost would be taken out of the nurses' contract.

The Indiana Registered Nurses Association, which represents the nurses, took issue with how the medical center has handled the strike plans.

"Since we put in [the strike] notice, IRMC has used every scare tactic in the book to try and turn nurses against the union," union President Kathy Wolfe said after talks broke down Nov. 19, according to the report. "But we are unified in the belief that our patients deserve better, and the hospital can do better."

Hospital spokesperson Mark Richards told The Tribune-Democrat the union, which is part of Pennsylvania State Education Association, is not representing how local nurses feel about the strike issue.

"We already know that many of our nurses do not want to strike and are ready to vote on a new agreement," he said. "We are disappointed that the IRNA/PSEA decided to trigger a strike notice to have nurses strike before our next two scheduled negotiating sessions at the end of November."

The Indiana Registered Nurses Association and medical center have been negotiating a new contract for about 380 union members.

Health insurance costs and wages reportedly have been key sticking points in the negotiations.


More articles on human capital and risk:

Pennsylvania hospital nurses asked to cancel one-day strike
4,000 Kaiser mental health clinicians say they're prepared to walk off job
University of Illinois-Chicago nurses suspend strike after CEO agrees to participate in talks


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