Hospital admins, nurses attempt contract negotiations

NORWICH – UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital administrators and registered nursing staff are in the midst of heated negotiations revolving around an expired contract that remains invalid since late spring.

A meeting between hospital administrators and the nurses union – local 1199 Service Employees International Union - was held Monday night at the Norwich Family YMCA community room as a last ditch effort toward a resolution that would be acceptable to both management and staff.

In an effort at resolution, and to thwart what would be another stalemate, both sides agreed the aid of a federal moderator was warranted for discussions.

The debate focuses primarily on the benefits of the registered nursing staff, namely the usage of collected sick and “PTO” (paid time off), programs that have been part of the company's benefit package for decades. Administration at the facility suggest implementing some changes with the contract renewal and the nurses feel they're being “negotiated down,” according to Bargaining Committee member and Staff Educator Lynn Drake, MSN, RN-BC, WCC.

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