Rhode Island hospital workers authorize strike notice

Workers at Fatima Hospital in North Providence, R.I., this week gave their bargaining team the OK to give a 10-day strike notice to the hospital if necessary, according to local TV station WPRI.

The vote came amid talks between the hospital and members of United Nurses and Allied Professionals, who have worked without a contract since the beginning of the year.

The union says members want to raise awareness about patient and worker safety issues under healthcare management company Prospect CharterCARE, according to the report.

"We don't take this step lightly, and we realize what's at stake for each other, our patients and the community we are proudly a part of," Cindy Fenchel, president of the union's Local 5110 told WPRI. "It's time for Prospect CharterCARE to come to the table and make substantive commitments on improving patient care and strengthening worker safety."

CharterCARE expressed disappointment that union employees voted to authorize a strike notice and stressed that it is committed to reaching a contract agreement.

"We want to assure patients, physicians, visitors and vendors that the union's informational picketing has not and will not interfere with open access to our facility or to any aspect of hospital operations," a statement from the company reads. "While we respect the union and its representation of our employees, we do not support the disruptive environment that it is trying to create. We are committed to bargaining in good faith with the union to reach an agreement that is fair to union members as well as our hospitals." 


More articles on human capital and risk: 

California community hospital averts strike
Massachusetts hospital takes union vote challenge to DC
CHI St. Alexius nurses try for second time to unionize


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