University of Vermont Medical Center nurses intend to strike July 12

Unionized nurses at University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington say they plan to strike for 48 hours, according to a Burlington Free Press report. 

The nurses, who are represented by the Vermont Federation of Nurses & Health Professionals, issued a strike notice July 2. The strike is slated to begin July 12, three days after the nurses' contract expires. 

Eileen Whalen, RN, president and COO of the medical center, expressed disappointment about the impending walkout.

"While progress was made after many hours of hard work at the bargaining table this weekend, we unfortunately were not able to reach agreement. We are very disappointed the union has chosen to issue a strike notice because, as we've said all along, we know we can reach an agreement if we stay at the table," she said in a statement to Becker's Hospital Review.

She said the medical center hopes to avoid a strike through additional negotiations and is working with a federal mediator "to keep the lines of communication open."

The strike notice comes weeks after nurses authorized a walkout amid negotiations for a new contract. 

The union has said working conditions, pay and staffing levels remain key sticking points, reports the Free Press. VFNHP has proposed a 24 percent pay increase over the three-year contract; the medical center has proposed 13 percent with more increases depending on the type of nursing the worker does, medical center officials said.

If the strike takes place, Ms. Whalen said the medical center "will be prepared to continue providing quality care to our patients and families with as little disruption as possible."

 

More articles on human capital and risk:
Nearly 200 Oregon hospital workers join union
Staten Island University Hospital, workers reach tentative deal, avert strike
Hospitals and unions: 12 recent conflicts, agreements

 

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