UVM Medical Center, union urged to reach accord

Burlington (Vt.) City Council members are calling on Burlington-based University of Vermont Medical Center and unionized nurses to resolve their labor dispute, reports Seven Days.

The council passed a resolution to that effect on July 16, two days after the nurses ended a 48-hour strike, the report states.

In the resolution, which was supported by the hospital and nurses, the council urged both sides to "come to an agreement that is in the best interest of the community and respects the worth and dignity of UVMMC's nurses and other healthcare workers, leads to safe nurse staffing and a reduction in vacancies, and pays fair and equitable wages to recruit and retain high quality nurses and support workers."

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. Still, the nurses continue working without a contract and could potentially walk off the job again if an agreement is not reached with the hospital, the report notes.

Wages and working conditions have been key sticking points in negotiations.                   


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