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Striking Back: Hospitals Fight Back Against Labor Disputes
Submitted by kcarew on Wed, 11/23/2011 - 19:30
Kaiser Foundation and Permanente Medical Group made headlines once again this week when they announced they are suing the California Nurses Association, claiming that the union’s September 22nd strike violated its contract with a state-wide strike. The September strike grabbed national headlines when it was revealed that a cancer patient died as a result of a medical error administered by a replacement nurse who was brought in during the strike at Sutter Health System hospital in Oakland, California.
In recent weeks, threats of nursing strikes in Oregon, New York and Florida have sent healthcare administrators scrambling for options to prepare for the worst-case scenario. As a result, many hospital executives found themselves contracting with nursing agencies to hire temporary staff, cancelling elective procedures and bracing for the financial losses that their organizations might have to sustain. Here’s an overview of the headline-making strikes in the recent months:
- More than 23,000 nurses in California walked off their jobs on Thursday, September 22 for a one-day strike after negotiations broke down.
- Both St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in Manhattan and New York-Presbyterian voted to strike in protest of stalled negotiations over benefit rights. New York State’s nurses union currently has 37,000 members.
- Earlier this month, 7,000 unionized nurses and other workers at HCA Florida Hospitals voted to hold a one-day strike. HCA is the nation’s largest hospital corporation.
The recent wave of strikes has most healthcare administrators wondering how they might react in similar circumstances. Many are re-thinking whether their contingency plans are sufficient to cope with a nursing strike, should one become imminent at their facility.
Do you have a nurse strike contingency plan? What options or steps do you have in place should your nurses threaten to walk off the job? To view the Nursing Strike Preparation and Survival Toolkit Solution click here.