Members of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP), Local 5098, at Rhode Island Hospital, with labor and community allies, held a candlelight vigil and march Thursday evening to call attention to to unsafe staffing levels and other problems that continue to remain an issue in negotiations. UNAP members have been working without a contract since June 30th.
In a press release, UNAP said, “UNAP represents nearly 2,300 nurses, technologists, therapists and allied health professionals at Rhode Island Hospital. Members have authorized the negotiating committee to issue a 10-day strike notice, if an equitable agreement cannot be reached. On Friday, Lifespan officials acquiesced to UNAP’s request for federal mediation. A representative from the Federal Mediation and Reconciliation Service has been assigned to work with both parties in seeking resolution.”
“We are aware that this is a challenging economic time for Lifespan, that all health workers need to be part of a ‘shared sacrifice’ to aid the hospital. But that’s a tough pill for our members to swallow when Lifespan continues to pay a small handful of top executives nearly $13 million a year,” said UNAP Local 5098 President Helene Macedo, RN, “The question must be asked: Who’s really making the sacrifice?”