“In an effort to ensure patient care, and avert the first strike at a hospital in Connecticut in 33 years, today we offered to drop our previous job security proposals in negotiations with the corporation. Instead, we proposed that both sides simply abide by the eventual ruling of an administrative law judge on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) complaint over unfair labor practices that involve shifting healthcare services and jobs away from the hospital.
“A trial in the matter is scheduled for less than three weeks from now, and we proposed a moratorium on service and job transfers while we await the judge’s decision. In order to ensure fairness, we also stipulated that both sides would honor the outcome, and agree not to pursue any appeals.
“We felt that this was a good faith attempt to reach a fair compromise and allow a judge to decide on basic ground rules when it comes to protecting and preserving patient care in the changing healthcare industry.
“Unfortunately, the corporation disagreed and rejected our offer. Worse, their representatives would not agree to additional negotiations we proposed tomorrow and over the weekend.
“It’s a shame they are not putting as much effort into preventing a strike six days before it’s actually scheduled as they did to prepare for one five months ago when we hadn’t even begun negotiations.”
D’Abrosca is president of AFT Local 5049, which represents approximately 540 RNs, and Johnson is president of AFT Local 5051, which represents approximately 250 licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and technicians at the hospital. Contracts for both unions expired Saturday, and their members last week authorized a strike over unfair labor practices, which could commence as soon as Wednesday, November 27. Both unions have also scheduled informational picketing outside the hospital on Monday, November 25 to further educate the public about their members’ concerns regarding patient care at the acute care facility.
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AFT Connecticut, the largest union of acute care hospital workers in the state, represents approximately 1,600 registered nurses, LPNs, technicians, and healthcare workers at L&M Hospital in New London. Follow the labor federation on Facebook at www.facebook.com/aftct.