Strike set at Hartford HealthCare hospital

Members of the Windham Federation of Nurses Local 5041 are set to begin a two-day strike Sept. 22 at Hartford HealthCare's Windham Hospital in Willimantic, Conn.

The union represents about 100 registered nurses at Windham Hospital and its partner medical facilities, according to a Sept. 21 news release shared with Becker's. Hartford HealthCare has about 36,000 employees total.

Union members notified the hospital of their intent to strike on Sept. 10. Both sides have been negotiating since December 2021, including 46 official negotiation sessions, according to a Sept. 21 hospital statement shared with Becker's. The hospital said that during negotiations, it "has respectfully responded to every one of the issues the unions identified as most important to them." The hospital said its last offer includes elimination of mandatory overtime; market-based adjustments and larger wage increases for newer nurses; expanded salary ranges for more senior nurses at the top of the salary range; wage increases and market-based increases for technical and support staff; and health insurance premium contribution relief for both nurses and technical and support staff amounting to an additional 2 percent of wages.

The union said it is striking "to further call attention to the region's patient care crisis."

Windham Federation of Professional Nurses President Andrea Riley, RN, said in a Sept. 12 news release: "During these long months of negotiations, we have made it clear that patient safety is our top priority. Not only have the network's lawyer's refused to present fair proposals, [but] management has broken federal workplace laws in the middle of a care crisis. That's not how health industry leaders who value safe patient care should behave."

The strike is expected to run through 7 a.m. Sept. 24.

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