union

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The contract for more than two thousand union nurses and technicians at Rhode Island Hospital has been extended through the end of July while the two sides continue negotiations. Union organizers have authorized a strike, although it hasn’t come to that yet.

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.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

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.

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