Nurses at RI Hospital Vote to Strike on Monday at 3:00 PM

Friday, July 20, 2018


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Sims made the strike announcement on Thursday night

United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP) Local 5098 President Frank Sims, RN, released the following statement on Thursday night:

"Today our members faced two choices: accept an insulting and disingenuous offer from wealthy Lifespan executives that devalues each of us as professionals, or reject the contract and move forward with a three-day strike that focuses the public’s attention on the systemic problems facing Rhode Island’s only Level One trauma hospital.

There were no good or easy choices today. But there was a right one.

After counting all the ballots, UNAP nurses, technologists and therapists have overwhelmingly decided that this union will not be bullied, threatened or disrespected by an out-of-touch management team. The strike is on, and will commence Monday, July 23rd at 3:00 pm.

Our intent was to unconditionally return on Thursday, July 26th, at 3:00 pm, but Lifespan made a costly deal with an out-of-state staffing company, and so, our hard-working members will be locked out for an additional day. Our plan is to return to work next Friday, at 3:00 pm.

This is just another in a series of petty and punitive tactics that Lifespan has used to force us into signing a contract that fails to recognize the commitment and skills we bring to the bedside, every day.

In recent days, Lifespan has pushed a narrative suggesting that we haven’t raised issues relative to unsafe staffing levels and a fundamental lack of resources during the bargaining process. This is simply not true. While we have certainly worked to address economic security issues in this contract, we have absolutely discussed nurses and caregivers having an alarming lack of resources to the critical tools and supplies we need to provide the care our patients deserve.

Every year, our members file hundreds of unsafe staffing reports -- the majority of which go ignored. This too has been raised at the table and to suggest otherwise is a lie.

We all got into this work to help people; to be there for patients in their most vulnerable moments; to provide comfort, counsel and care. This is who we are, and this is what we’re desperate to get back to doing.

Our will is strong, our purpose is true, and our strength is in the solidarity that binds us."

UNAP represents more than 2,400 nurses, therapists, technologists and other allied health professionals at Rhode Island and Hasbro Children's Hospitals.


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