Union Complains That Striking Nurses Not Guaranteed Jobs Back

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

About six hundred nurses on strike in Kentucky and West Virginia will vote Tuesday on the latest contract proposal from Appalachian Regional Healthcare. Union leaders, though, do not expect it will be approved.

No matter the outcome of Tuesday's vote, the two sides have another struggle ahead in agreeing on back-to-work conditions.

If you thought ending the strike would mean a return to normalcy for union nurses and ARH officials, think again.

“It's another battle, but we'll make it,” says Wilma Jones of Kentucky Nurses Association.

Both sides are now proposing strike settlement agreements, or back-to-work conditions once the strike is over. ARH wants the nurses to acknowledge the strike is economic and wants both sides to drop all unfair labor practice charges. ARH may or may not offer strikers their old jobs back.

“It's an outrageous, dirty insult to all of us,” says Jones.

“One, there's nothing outrageous about it. Two, those are the kinds of issues that are typically cleared up in a strike settlement agreement, so the parties end whatever litigation there might be,” says James Smith.

Union leaders want ARH to terminate its consultants from Yessin, a group strikers say is notorious for breaking unions and they want striking nurses to have their old jobs back immediately.

“If we ever get a contract that we can agree to and sign off on, walk back in there the way we come out, all together,” says Jones.

Officials say they'll probably have to agree on a new contract *before* they can work out a back-to-work settlement.

“It's much more likely to have a contract and not have a strike settlement agreement than the other way around,” says Jim Smith.

If Tuesday's vote goes the way union leaders expect, they won't have either one.

ARH officials say the proposed settlement agreements should have no impact on tomorrow's contract vote because they are two separate issues.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Susan Location: Harlan on Dec 5, 2007 at 06:30 AM
    Eagle's comment is a great example of the brainwashing and manipulation that the union officials are spewing. Check the contract, Eagle; working conditions are off the table
  • by Eagle Location: Cumberland on Dec 4, 2007 at 07:30 PM
    Who cares what you all think about the strike. I have worked for this hospital for 8 years and if you think the work conditions are that good then go work for them. This is the worse place in any hospital to work, Oh they have plenty of help right now since replacement workers are in there you should have been there before the strike.How would you like your mom or dad or child to be a pt and not receive the care they deserve because of staffing shortage or a nurse that was told to work extra hours to care for your family member after already working 12 hrs.It would be a different story then. This is NOT about the money no matter what you think. KNA ALL THE WAY
  • by you're just jealous Location: hazard on Dec 4, 2007 at 04:47 PM
    I WOULD LOVE TO KNOW WHAT ALL YOU NURSE HATERS WORK AT!!! YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT WHATS GOING ON SO STOP YOUR WHINING...I AM SO SICK OF BEING JUGDED BY PEOPLE WHO KNOW NOTHING OF THE SITUATION!!! IF McDONALD'S HAS A STRIKE, LET ME KNOW, I'LL STICK MY NOSE IN YOUR BUSINESS.. UNTIL THEN, KEEP YOUR COMMENTS TO YOURSELF!!!
  • by Jeannie Location: Grayson on Dec 4, 2007 at 08:51 AM
    The massive conspiracy has worked - people are actually convinced unions are bad for workers. How ridiculous!! Even non-union miners would not get paid their good wages if it weren't for the threat of unionization. When even the people disparage good wages and job security, something is seriously wrong with America. Would someone please turn the Kool-Aid tap off before we're all infected!!!
  • by Gil Location: Richmond on Dec 4, 2007 at 07:58 AM
    Mandatory Overtime became the norm? It appears to me there was some poor scheduling going on, or there are too few employees to handle the workload. This would seem to be a legitimate reason for the nurses to reject just any contract thrown at them. God bless our nurses.
  • by Susan Location: Harlan on Dec 4, 2007 at 07:31 AM
    I agree with Doug from Hyden. I've also read a synopsis of the contract. I'd LOVE to have those working conditions!! They were told from the beginning that the strikers wouldn't be hired back. Frankly, I'm a little fed up with the strike.
  • by Molly Location: ky on Dec 4, 2007 at 06:44 AM
    It's good enough for them if they don't get their jobs back. I still say its about money. And, besides I don't want someone who has been harrassing people taking care of me
  • by close to home Location: Cumberland on Dec 4, 2007 at 04:54 AM
    Well, Well, I so hope that the nurses do not vote on this contract and the union is broken. A hospital is no place for a union and yeah it does look like they shot themselves in the foot.
  • by Doug Location: Hyden on Dec 4, 2007 at 04:24 AM
    looks like the strikers shot their own foot with those tired old excuses for not working. unfair labor. not negotating in good faith...(sic)

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