Negotiations continue between Rhode Island Hospital and employees with the Teamsters union. The latest round of talks ended in another stalemate.
The Teamsters represent about 2500 nursing assistants, food service, and other workers at Rhode Island Hospital. They’ve threatened to strike if negotiators can’t agree on job protections and wage hikes, as well as improvements to their retirement plan.
A union that represents the majority of workers recently laid off at Women and Infants Hospital is challenging the job cuts in federal court.
They get to stay on the job until at least Thursday. That’s when a federal judge will hear the union’s challenge. Women and Infants announced the lay-offs this week for more than 40 employees, including certified nurses assistants, imaging technicians, food and laundry service workers.
Workers at Rhode Island Hospital have threatened to strike as contract negotiations reach an impasse. A federal mediator has been called in to help broker a deal between the hospital and members of the Teamsters union. The Teamsters represent certified nurses’ assistants and unit assistants, people who help care for patients.
What could a strike mean for patients and employees? Rhode Island Public Radio’s health care reporter Kristin Gourlay joins host Dave Fallon to sort through the issues.
Members of the Teamsters union working at Rhode Island Hospital voted Wednesday evening to authorize a strike. Don’t expect to see picket lines immediately.
The vote simply gives union leadership the authority to give the hospital 10 days' notice before striking. But members could walk off the job in a couple of weeks if they don’t reach a new contract deal with hospital management. A federal mediator has been called in, according to hospital officials.
The Central Coventry firefighters union says it was surprised to learn that filing for bankruptcy was on the table. The union’s president said he thought cost cutting negotiations were moving forward.
There’s been little movement on the Central Coventry Fire District’s expected path towards bankruptcy since it was first reported last week, by channel 12. The union has been in talks with a state receiver for the past several months. The fire district is more than 3 million dollars in debt according to union president David Gorman.
Clerks from the Providence School department are protesting the firing last year of a secretary who worked at Asa Messer Elementary School. The secretary was fired after a student was released to an unauthorized relative. The man, who was known to school staff, was later accused of molesting the student. The secretary was supposed to return to school this week, after an arbitrator ruled she should get her job back. But the Providence school department is trying to block her return to work.