They’re trying to come to terms on a deal that would now avoid a nurses’ strike.
The union, made up of 870-members, is sticking by it’s demand for a bigger voice in patient care.
They rejected a contract from the hospital for the second time Friday.
Members want a Professional Practice Committee made up only of staff nurses.
But the Chief Nursing Officer says the current Nurse Practice Committee already allows nurses a place to address work and patient issues.
Union President Judy Brown says the new nurse committee would exclude managers, so nurses can speak freely without concern superiors will berate them.
Chief Nursing Officer Lorraine Rodgerson says she’s never received a complaint like that. ":I’m sure there have been nurses who have been spoken to because of behavior or attitude but the nurse managers in this building are very professional respected people and the thought of them belittling or making nurses feel uncomfortable – I would challenge that statement.":
Greg Howat, Vice President of Human Resources, says even though the nurse committee issue is getting a lot of attention, there are other sticking points in the contract negotiations – including wages and benefits.
The nurses are set to go on a 24-hour strike October 17th and the hospital will fill the void with out-of-state hires.
We spoke with the Nurses’ Union President by phone Monday.
Judy Brown says more members voted on the second contract offer than the first one – and they still rejected it by 80-percent.
She says that’s evidence the nurses are solidly behind establishing their own advisory committee.