Rhode Island hospital nurses vote no confidence in leadership, keep potential strike on the table

Unionized nurses and other workers at Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence voted no confidence in leadership Aug. 2, and agreed to leave the option open for a strike if they can't reach a deal with the hospitals' parent system, Providence-based Lifespan, according to a Providence Journal report.

The workers, who are represented by United Nurses and Allied Professionals Local 5098, voted no confidence in Lifespan CEO Tim Babineau and Rhode Island Hospital President Margaret Van Bree, and urged Lifespan's board "to take immediate, corrective action to restore the public's trust in Rhode Island's only level 1 trauma hospital," the report states.

Union spokesperson Ray Sullivan said in a news release obtained by the Providence Journal that members gave the union the option of notifying Lifespan if workers anticipate a strike. Another union vote would be required to authorize a walkout, according to the report.

Frank Sims, RN, UNAP Local 5098 president, said in the release "front-line caregiver morale has plummeted" under current leadership and that unionized workers are "ignored and undervalued."

Lawrence Aubin, Sr., chairman of Lifespan's board of directors, responded in a statement to the Providence Journal, saying: "The current leadership at Lifespan and Rhode Island Hospital has the full faith and support of the Lifespan board of directors, and we are fortunate to have them leading the best and largest healthcare system in the state."

Both sides are slated to continue negotiations Aug. 8.


More articles on human capital and risk:

McLaren Macomb nurses picket over contract
Amid contract talks, Vermont medical center halts union dues collection
Rhode Island hospital workers encouraged to seek jobless benefits during lockout


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