RNs - District of Columbia

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Nurses union ratifies contract with Washington Hospital Center

Ben Fischer, Washington Business Journal, May 9, 2011

Members of National Nurses United ratified a new labor contract with Washington Hospital Center on Saturday, officially ending more than a year of bitter feuding at the region's largest privately owned medical center.

The core dispute - changes to how wage bonuses for less desirable night and weekend shifts are calculated - was settled with a classic compromise. The hospital won the right to implement the changes permanently; the union won a 30-month hold-harmless period for its workers.

Washington Hospital Center nurses ratify contract

Lena H. Sun, Washington Post, May 9, 2011 Nurses at Washington Hospital Center have voted to ratify a new contract that raises most nurses’ hourly base wages but eventually cuts shift pay for many who work evenings, nights and weekends, union and hospital officials said Monday. The agreement, which covers 1,650 registered nurses at the Washington region’s largest hospital, was reached last week and ratified Friday and Saturday. It also gives nurses more of a voice in staffing and patient care by establishing a new committee and includes a return to work for eight nurses fired during the back-to-back snowstorms in February 2010. ... Washington

DC Nurses and the Fight for Health Care

A Flashpoint for Union Rights and Health Care. Brian Tierney, CounterPunch, May 6, 2011 As working-class people around the country brace for more budget cuts that, among other things, will further restrict their access to health care, the people providing that care have also been feeling the wrath of austerity – and its attendant national offensive against unions. Public and private hospitals are squeezing their budgets and cutting nurse staffing levels. From Massachusetts to California, understaffing and the resultant decline in patient safety have been at the center of a larger attack on nurse unionism. ... DC

Washington Hospital Center Nurses Reach Tentative Contract

Mike Hall, AFL-CIO, May 4, 2011 Registered nurses at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC, who have been fighting for safe patient care and strong nursing standards for nearly a year, reached a tentative agreement last night on a new contract with the hospital. The nearly 1,700 nurses are members of National Nurses United (NNU). Lori Marlowe, RN, a cardiac nurse who is a member of the union’s bargaining team, says: We are pleased to have achieved an agreement with the hospital that strengthens our ability to effectively advocate for our patients and protects RN professional and economic standards. ... Washington

Washington Hospital Center and nurses union reach agreement

Lena H. Sun, Washington Post, May 4, 2011 Washington Hospital Center and the union representing 1,700 nurses have reached a tentative agreement after a months-long contract dispute, union and hospital officials announced Wednesday. Nurses at the region’s largest hospital walked off the job March 4 in a one-day strike after contract negotiations broke down. But talks resumed in the past two weeks, and final details were worked out Tuesday, officials said. Representatives of both sides declined to discuss details until nurses vote Friday and Saturday on whether to ratify the contract. ... Washington

Washington Hospital Center, nurses strike deal

Ben Fischer, Washington Business Journal, May 4, 2011

A labor dispute between Washington Hospital Center and nurses appears to be settled.

After four threatened strikes, one work stoppage and a year of ill will, Washington Hospital Center and National Nurses United have reached a tentative deal on a new labor contract.

The union’s nearly 1,700 members will meet on Friday and Saturday to vote to ratify the contract. Both sides agreed to not disclose details prior to final approval.

Did layoffs force negotiations at Washington Hospital Center?

Ben Fischer, Washington Business Journal, May 4, 2011

Washington Hospital Center and its nurses union reached a tentatively deal in a flurry of negotiating this week after making little progress for months.

For months, National Nurses United and Washington Hospital Center battled for the hearts and minds of the District, waging a costly public fight over their stalled contract talks. But behind the scenes, very little negotiating was happening, with only a few formal bargaining sessions a month.

But late last week, that all changed. The union reached out, and a long day of talks on Monday yielded an agreement in principle, followed by finalized language on Tuesday. The union's nearly 1,700 members will vote to ratify this weekend.

Nurses Strike Tentative Contract Deal

Jennifer Doren, NBC, May 4, 2011 The year-long battle to reach a contract agreement for nurses at Washington's largest hospital may finally be over. Officials from Washington Hospital Center and the union representing 1,700 nurses announced a tentative deal Wednesday but are staying tight-lipped on specifics. An official vote to ratify the contract is scheduled for Friday and Saturday. In the meantime, the union has called off an informational picket set for the end of the week. This development is a step in the right direction considering the nurses have been working without a contract for a year. ... Nurses

Washington Hospital Center nurses may strike again

Ben Fischer, Washington Business Journal, April 11, 2011 Another day-long strike could be in store for Washington Hospital Center. The nurses union at Washington Hospital Center is preparing to walk off the job again for another one-day strike, following a March 4 work stoppage hospital officials say cost them $6 million. In a memo to members posted on its website, National Nurses United says its bargaining team wants to strike again "based on management's continued failure to reach a fair settlement with the union and its brazen implementation of the shift differential take-away." The strike authorization vote will begin April 17 and last through April 20.

Nurses' strike cost Washington Hospital Center $6 million

Lena H. Sun, Washington Post, March 11, 2011 Washington Hospital Center spent about $6 million to hire 600 temporary nurses, beef up security and cover other costs during last week's nurses' strike and subsequent lockout at the region's largest hospital, hospital officials said. Janis Orlowski, the hospital's chief medical officer, also said that more than 500 of the facility's 1,600 nurses crossed the picket line during Friday's strike. Ken Zinn, a spokesman for National Nurses United, which represents the nurses, said he could not confirm the hospital's figures but thought they were inflated. ... Nurses

Washington Hospital Center Nurses Locked Out

James Parks, AFL-CIO, March 7, 2011 Nurses at Washington Hospital Center, the largest hospital in the nation’s capital, have been locked out until March 9 following their one-day strike for better patient care last Friday. The 1,650 nurses, members of National Nurses United (NNU), are protesting management’s refusal to address their concerns about safe patient care, management’s attempt to erode nursing standards and management’s unfair labor practices. The nurses say the policies of the hospital’s owner MedStar Health have eroded patient care conditions and have prompted an exodus of hundreds of experienced RNs from the hospital. ... Washington

NNU Affiliated Washington Hospital Center RNs Hold One-Day Strike for Safe Staffing

National Nurses United, March 7, 2011 Hundreds of Washington Hospital Center registered nurses jammed picket lines outside the District’s largest hospital Friday for a one-day strike called to protest stalling by the hospital administration on serious patient care problems at the facility. The nurses were joined in a boisterous noon rally by community supporters and RNs of close to 2,000 people. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka praised the RNs for “standing up and standing together like our brothers and sisters in Madison and Cleveland and Indianapolis and a hundred other cities across America.” ... NNU

Walkout at Washington Hospital Center

Washington Post, March 6, 2011 Almost a year of rancorous contract talks came to a head Friday when several hundred nurses at Washington Hospital Center, the region's largest hospital, walked off the job for a 24-hour strike. To help care for patients, hospital officials flew in 600 temporary nurses from across the country. They were housed in area hotels and bused to the Northwest DC facility. Hospital officials also began a media campaign with print and radio advertisements in which they promised to keep the facility fully staffed and operating as usual through the weekend and into next week. ... Walkout

Nurses strike at Washington Hospital Center - video

Christopher Gregory, Washington Post, March 5, 2011 National Nurses United members began a twenty-four hour strike at Washington Hospital Center. They walked off the job at seven in the morning claiming the hospital is under staffing its medical services. Contracts and patient safety were also amongst the nurses concerns. ... Nurses

Citing Unstable Staffing, DC Nurses Strike

Mischa Gaus, Labor Notes, March 4, 2011 Nurses at DC’s Washington Hospital Center took a one-day strike Friday to protest short staffing and compensation cuts. Hospital administration said they will lock out the 1,600 nurses, represented by the National Nurses United, for four additional days. The union estimated that MedStar, the nonprofit chain that owns Washington Hospital Center, will spend $5 million to lock its nurses out. So many unions and community groups came to support the picket line, labor and delivery nurse Geri Lee couldn’t even count them all. ... Citing

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