Vermont nurses vote no confidence in hospital leadership ahead of contract vote

Unionized nurses at Burlington-based University of Vermont Medical Center have voted no confidence in the hospital's governing board and two top administrators, CEO John Brumsted, MD, and President and COO Eileen Whalen, RN, according to a WAMC report. 

The vote came from members of the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals, which represents about 1,800 licensed practical nurses, registered nurses and nurse practitioners at the hospital.

Union lead negotiator Molly Wallner said Sept. 20 that the board "refused to engage" during contract negotiations, the report states. She made the remarks during a board meeting, where the union vice president delivered a petition supporting a vote of no confidence. The petition reportedly had 6,000 signatures and cites issues such as the hospital's rankings, a 48-hour strike in July and executive compensation.

The board meeting occurred one day after UVM Medical Center and union reached a tentative three-year agreement that includes a 16 percent average base salary increase over the life of the contract.

During negotiations, which began about six months ago, nurses sought a 22 percent pay increase, according to the report.

Nurses are expected to vote on the tentative agreement soon.

Editor's note: Becker's Hospital Review reached out to UVM Medical Center and will post additional information when it is available.


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