Union files grievance against OSU Wexner alleging travel nurses being prioritized in scheduling

A nurses union has filed a grievance against Columbus-based Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, claiming the academic medical center is giving travel nurses scheduling priority over staff and/or clinic nurses, according to a letter to hospital nursing leaders, which was posted on Facebook.

The Ohio State University Nurses Organization, a local unit of the Ohio Nurses Association, filed the grievance Dec. 16.

In the grievance letter, the union cites a quote from a nursing leader: "Traveler schedules are contracted and we cannot change their schedules without their approval. If our unit staff are unwilling to voluntarily move to accommodate the extra help, then we can look to see if the traveler is able to be used on another unit. … I would really hope that staff would work together to make this work. We need our travelers and want to create an environment where they will want to re-sign and continue to support us during our staffing crisis." 

The union argues this is a violation of the collective bargaining agreement and is calling on OSU to prioritize its own employees in scheduling.  

"Many of Ohio's nurses have already been lured away from their regular jobs by promises of never-before-seen bonuses and hourly rates promised by travel nursing gigs," Rick Lucas, Ohio State University Nurses Organization president, said in a statement shared with Becker's. "The medical center must reward those of us who have endured this pandemic and remain committed to our hospitals, our patients, our communities and our coworkers instead of insulting them. Adding to the insult is the direct contract violation, for which we had no choice [but] to file a grievance."

The medical center confirmed that it received the grievance. 

Serena Smith, a spokesperson for Wexner, told Becker's that the next step in the grievance process is for the medical center's human resources to meet with the union to hear their concerns.

The union represents around 4,000 nurses at the medical center.

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