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Nurses contract at RI Hospital expires tomorrow UPDATED

June 29, 2011

June 30th marks the end of Rhode Island Hospital‘s contract with its nurses union and the two sides will likely talk all the way to the deadline.

The United Nurses and Allied Professionals union (UNAP) and Rhode Island Hospital are in negotiations all day today and tomorrow, according to Rick Brooks, the director of UNAP.

Brooks says significant difficulties remain in the negotiation process but he’s still hoping to reach a deal. Brooks has a member meeting scheduled for Friday where he hopes they’ll vote on a new contract.

Brooks wouldn’t comment on the major issues in the talks for the five year contract, but according to an internal document obtained by WRNI, Rhode Island Hospital is asking for-

  • Increases in employee health insurance contributions
  • No across the board raises for some categories of employees
  • Cuts in tuition assistance
  • Cuts in retirement benefits
  • Elimination of double time

I have a call out to Rhode Island Hospital to comment on or confirm these requests. I’ll have their response up as soon as I get it.

This is what Rhode Island Hospital has to say about the negociations-

Rhode Island Hospital has been negotiating with UNAP in good faith to reach an agreement that will preserve jobs, maintain a financially viable hospital, sustain our planned growth and allow our caregivers to provide the best possible care for our patients. Since we are still currently in negotiations, it would be premature to comment on specific contract issues.

Earlier this month, Rhode Island Hospital admitted that it was working with a strike breaking company in case the talks with labor fall apart. UNAP says it hadn’t threatened a strike. Rhode Island Hospital says it hired the firm because it’s required to write up a work stoppage contingency plan for the Department of Health.

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