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Nurses Union Rejects Lifespan Contract, Issues Strike Notice (Read More…)

July 13, 2018

The union representing nurses and other workers at Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital has announced plans to strike in 10 days—on July 23rd—after its members rejected a three-year contract offer.

The United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP) Local 5098 issued the ten-day strike noticed on Friday. UNAP represents more than 2,400 nurses and other non-physician health care workers employed by Lifespan, the state’s largest hospital system.

The union said its members voted “overwhelmingly” Thursday night to reject Lifespan’s three-year contract offer and called on hospital officials to “immediately return to the bargaining table.’’ Its members have been working under a contract that expired June 30.

Barring progress at the bargaining table, the strike would begin Monday, July 23 at 3 p.m.  The strike would continue until Thursday, July 26, at 3 p.m., at which time UNAP Local 5098 will “make an unconditional offer to return to work,” the union said in a statement.

‘Sticking With the Union’ in Face of Janus Ruling, AFT’s Weingarten Tells Senate Dems (Read Mo

July 11, 2018

Washington, D.C.

A defiant Randi Weingarten told a panel of sympathetic Senate Democrats this week that public-sector unions are not withering in the face of a recent Supreme Court decision that declared mandatory dues unconstitutional.

“What we are seeing is an amazing sense from our members that they are sticking with the union. Something has shifted in the last few weeks and months. I, frankly, in the 20 years, the 25 years of union advocacy that I have done, I have never seen what I am seeing right now,” Weingarten, who heads the 1.7 million–member American Federation of Teachers, said at the Tuesday hearing.

The Supreme Court two weeks ago ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that compelling dissenting public-sector employees to pay so-called agency fees violated their First Amendment rights. The 5-4 decision overturned long-standing precedent, which allowed dissenting members not to pay the portion of their dues that covered their union’s political activities but required them to support the costs of collective bargaining and other shared benefits. In addition to losing revenue from dissenters, it’s expected that unions will also see some full-fledged members drop out once freed from the mandatory portion of their dues.

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