Employees picket at Windham Hospital as union negotiations continue – NBC Connecticut

Nurses and hospital staff at Windham Hospital failed to reach a contractual agreement after six months of negotiations and picketed on Monday.

Employees, including lab technicians and food service, held signs and marched in a circle today outside the hospital on Monday.

Leaders of the two unions that represent them said their contracts ended in December.

They said they went to Hartford Healthcare last June until July to try to start negotiating, but Hartford Healthcare, the hospital’s parent company, refused to start negotiations until the end of the contract. ‘year.

“The problem is that every time we sit down there seems to be little movement from their side or readiness to come up with any changes or amendments to their proposals. So even when we sit down, we don’t seem to see any real work and are really trying to find a collective bargaining agreement between employer and employee,” said Andrea Riley, RN and president of the Windham Federation of Professional Nurses.

Windham Hospital President Donna Handley said the hospital was “disappointed that the Windham Nurses Federation, AFT Local 5041, and Windham United, AFT Local 5099, n have not yet agreed new collective agreements for our nurses and technicians, non-professionals, skilled maintenance and office colleagues, respectively.

The union said it did not want to be forced to work overtime.

Nurses work eight- or 12-hour shifts and are only told at the end of their shift that they have to work 16 hours that day, they said.

“It’s a huge conflict with patient care and patient safety. It is known to be detrimental to patient care and can even lead to patient deaths,” Riley said.

Heather Howlett, president of WCMH United employees, said they ‘look for the best care for our patients and when we’re burned out we just can’t give it to them’.

Another of the union’s other major concerns is health insurance.

“It’s a really bad plan. We work for a hospital, for a big company. We should have good insurance. We shouldn’t be afraid to go to doctors. I have members who skip meds because they can’t afford it. They don’t go to the doctor because they can’t afford it,” Howlett said.

The next negotiation sessions are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday.

“Windham Hospital is committed to ensuring the safety and peace of mind of our patients, visitors and colleagues during this event,” Handley said in a statement. “We look forward to resuming negotiations and continuing to work with the federal mediator who assisted the parties, because we know that collective agreements are reached through compromises at the bargaining table, not on a picket line.

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