For Immediate Release
Charles Idelson, 510-273-2246
Registered Nurses Urge MedStar Washington Hospital Executives to Work With Them to Address Problems and Improve Patient Care
WASHINGTON - Registered nurses at Washington Hospital Center (MWHC), part of the MedStar Health hospital chain, will hold a vigil on Tuesday, December 30th, urging MedStar executives to end unfair labor practices and return to the bargaining table to improve patient care and address the hospitals' health, safety and equity problems.
The vigil comes a day and a half before management's forced lockout of the registered nursing staff is scheduled to end on January 1.
Last week, on Dec. 22, MWHC nurses held a one-day strike to protest management's unwillingness to address patient safety concerns and other key matters. During the strike, despite the cold and rain, nurses and community allies held a powerful and well-attended rally and spoke out on how the hospital's current policies puts patients at risk.
MedStar management retaliated against the RN's patient advocacy, by punishing them with a ten-day lockout, unnecessarily prolonging the period of time that the registered nursing staff has been away from the hospital bedside.
MedStar's claims that 10 day lockouts are standard in the hospital industry are absolutely false, nurses say, citing last month's one day strike at Providence Hospital in Washington DC and two-day strike at Kaiser hospitals throughout Northern California, in which there were no lockouts.
What: Nurses Vigil to Urge MWHC Execs to Work with Nurses to Improve Patient Care
When: Tuesday, Dec. 30, 5 p.m.
Where: MedStar Washington Hospital Center, 110 Irving Street N.W. (in the area just outside the hospital's Emergency Room)
The RNs' strike, and the hospital's subsequent lockout, were preceded by management's refusal to bargain in good faith and continued actions to undermine discussion. In November, hospital executives acted unilaterally, and illegally, in implementing their most recent position and declared an impasse, despite the fact that the registered nurses were ready and willing to continue negotiations with hospital executives to protect quality patient care and safe working conditions.
With this vigil, RNs are expressing their serious commitment to renew constructive dialogue. Despite management's unfair labor practices, nurses say, real progress is possible, as long as both sides commit to negotiating with a focus on patient care and fairness.
National Nurses United is the nation's largest direct-care registered nurses union, representing 190,000 members, including 4,400 RNs in the District of Columbia. NNOC/NNU represents RNs at facilities that include Providence Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, Children's Hospital, United Medical Center, Howard University Hospital and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
National Nurses United, with close to 185,000 members in every state, is the largest union and professional association of registered nurses in US history.