Nurse negotiations continue

PROVIDENCE, RI – The contract between Rhode Island hospital and its nurses union expires today. WRNI's health care reporter Megan Hall reports the negotiations are still ongoing.

It might take all day to hammer out an agreement between the United Nurses and Allied Professionals union and Rhode Island Hospital.

But union members are still optimistic they can reach a deal- they've scheduled a meeting on Friday to vote on the yet unresolved contract.

The hospital and the union won't speak on the details of the negotiations, but according to internal documents obtained by WRNI, at issue are increases in employee health insurance contributions, cuts in retirement benefits, and a freeze on across the board pay raises for some categories of employees.

In a written statement, Rhode Island Hospital says it is quote-"negotiating with UNAP in good faith to reach an agreement."

Earlier this month, Rhode Island Hospital hired a company to replace UNAP members if they decide to strike. Hospital officials say it was necessary to have a back-up plan in case the union calls a work stoppage.

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