Strike Authorization Vote
As you know, National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU) held a strike authorization vote yesterday and, as expected, the vote was passed. While we are disappointed by the outcome, we aren’t surprised that the Union received the votes it needed to strike given that the Union ran the vote.
While you, our represented nurses, have lost your right to decide on whether there will be a strike at UCMC, as of now the Union has not called for one. Rather, through this vote, NNOC/NNU has gained the ability to force a strike in the future without consulting you further. Also important to note: The Union’s strike authorization vote is not a referendum on our institution nor a reflection of you, our colleagues.
Unfortunately, with yesterday’s vote, NNOC/NNU has put us in a position where we must prepare for a strike. By law, the Union is required to give us at least 10 days’ notice of a strike. We are planning to care for your patients if the Union directs you to walk out on them, and will continue that planning process as we continue to bargain. The needs of our patients, their families and the community must come first, and we are dedicated to providing them with the excellent care they deserve.
We remain concerned that the negotiating process has been unproductive and slow, despite having met a total of 18 times at the bargaining table since March. It is unfortunate that the Union spent much of the last two months picketing, holding press conferences and distributing strike pledge cards. We could have used that time to focus on proposals and resolving the issues.
UCMC does not want a strike, and we continue to focus on bargaining in good faith toward a contract that is in the best interest of you and supports the organization’s commitment to remain at the forefront of medicine for our patients and community. Negotiations are best settled at the table through productive discussions and compromises, and we will remain focused on that bargaining process when the Union is willing to meet. We encourage the NNOC/NNU bargaining team to come to the table for truly productive discussions about wages and benefits.
This Medical Center will continue to honor the commitment to being transparent with you about what’s happening during negotiations in the weeks ahead. Again, I thank you for all that you do for our patients and each other.