UVM Medical Center nurses return after 48-hour strike

Unionized nurses at University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington have ended their strike.

About 1,800 nurses represented by the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals Local 5221, went on strike from 7 a.m. July 12 to 7 a.m. July 14. They are now back to work after  a handoff between themselves and the temporary replacement nurses brought in during the walkout.

"At the conclusion of the 48-hour strike by the nurses' union early Saturday morning, leaders from clinical, information technology, security and other operational areas reported no significant issues," according to a  statement from the hospital. "The handoff between contingency nurses and returning UVM Medical Center nurses occurred without incident." 

CMS-authorized state surveyors reviewed several areas of the hospital July 13 and found it "in compliance with the Medicare Conditions of Participation for Hospitals Nursing Care and Services and federal monitoring due to strike," hospital administrators stated.

"We're all pleased to have our nurses back and to be returning to normal operations," said Eileen Whalen, RN, president of UVM Medical Center.

The nurses union website states: "We return to work with pride."

Wages have been a key sticking point in negotiations.
UVM Medical Center has proposed 13 percent raises over the three-year contract, with "significant [additional] increases" for nurses in certain roles, while the union has sought a 23 percent pay increase in the same time frame.  


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