Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 1:27 PM ET, 08/ 2/2010

Nurses to strike over snowstorm firings

By Washington Post editors

The union representing 1,600 nurses at Washington Hospital Center voted overwhelmingly over the weekend to approve a one-day strike to protest the firing of 18 nurses who failed to report to work during and after the February snowstorms, a union spokeswoman announced Monday.

With 675 nurses voting, members voted 526-147 in favor of a one-day strike, more than the two-third majority required. Two members abstained.

Nine of the nurses have since returned to work.

The union had argued that hospital used unfair labor practices when it fired the nurses for not reporting to work.

Federal law requires the union to give management 10 calendar days notice before a strike can occur. The union, which is in contract negotiations with hospital management, is asking that the nurses who were terminated be given their jobs back with back pay.

A strike date has not yet been set.

A hospital spokeswoman said the union has not formally notified managers of the vote.

"While we are disappointed in the outcome of this vote, we have a full contingency plan in place and will take all necessary steps, including bringing in qualified replacement nurses to care for our patients in the event of a strike," the hospital said in a statement.

--Lena Sun

By Washington Post editors  | August 2, 2010; 1:27 PM ET
Categories:  DC  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Historic ship to be reassembled in Md.
Next: 1 dead after golf cart plunges into Potomac

Comments

It's unfair to punish the nurses for not being able to get to work in an epic snow storm. I could not get out of my neighborhood for 7 days. I wonder if there are other reasons that the hospital wants to let these nurses go....this could range from they are about to retire and cost the hospital a lot of pension/retirement payout $$'s, or they have done something awful and it's the only way the hospital can think of to get rid of them(how lame),or anything in between.

Posted by: 10bestfan | August 2, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Most hospitals have people who will come pick you up. During the snow storm, I couldn't get to work, but the hospital sent someone with a better car than mine. In the event that someone couldn't pick me up, I was excused from work.

The reality is I would need more facts about why the nurses didn't show up and what alternatives the hospital offered before firing them to form an opinion. This article is pretty slim on details.

Posted by: pcw3d | August 2, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Good news and good on the nurses.

The action by some hospitals during last winter's snow storms were stupid and no way to treat employees who serve patients in need. Or, is it just a business??

Posted by: 15of18 | August 2, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Hope services don't suffer.

Posted by: drfields | August 2, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Almost 1000 members didn't vote, why even be in a union if you don't vote? Just give your money (dues) so that the unions can blow it for their own personnel agenda.

Posted by: washpostlogin | August 2, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

I was rushed to the hospital a few years ago during a snow storm and was very glad there were nurses there to take care of me.
As has been pointed out before, may of us with 4 whell drive vehicles volunteer to take medical professionals to work. This is a pretty lame excuse for striking. How about encouraging a good work ethic.

Posted by: etn4fun | August 2, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

What a storm it was! We must remember that nurses are people with families and responsibilities. Maybe they had children and the sitter couldn't make it. Maybe they had elderly parents anad no one could get there to take care of them.

Since we don't know the circumstances, we can't really judge. The story should have interviewed some of the fired nurses to find out why they didn't come in. The story is one-sided and incomplete. Better reporting is needed.

Posted by: lk20850 | August 2, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

YOU THINK IT'S BAD NOW?

JUST WAIT UNTIL OBAMACARE KICKS IN.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION UNION NURSE THUGS WON'T GIVE A HOOT ABOUT YOU. THUG NURSES DON'T GIVE A DARN ABOUT WHITEY.

YOU WILL DIE IN AGONY WAITING FOR A NURSE.

Posted by: twotimetuna | August 2, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

YOU THINK IT'S BAD NOW?

JUST WAIT UNTIL OBAMACARE KICKS IN.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION UNION NURSE THUGS WON'T GIVE A HOOT ABOUT YOU. THUG NURSES DON'T GIVE A DARN ABOUT WHITEY.

YOU WILL DIE IN AGONY WAITING FOR A NURSE.

Posted by: twotimetuna | August 2, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

nurses need a voice.strike nurses.nurses have been abused long enough.the people making the rules should perhaps remember that nurses,and all personell that are caregivers ,and assist caregivers are HUMAN too.

Posted by: gloria_burns | August 2, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse

What is the point of a 1 Day strike? Making a point doesn't do anything. If you want change, you need to make the hospital suffer for days, weeks, months on end, until they give into your demands

Posted by: AlbyVA | August 2, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

SIgning on as "essential personnel" got these nurses a substantial pay bump. They were supposed to be there, no matter what.

Posted by: Godfather_of_Goals | August 2, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Those votes do not even represent half of the nurses that work at the hospital. The hospital is not going to budge. I think there is more to this story about the 9 nurses who are still without jobs. If they flat out refused to come in to work after the hospital arranged services to get them to work then they should stay unemployed. This strike is going to be a huge embarrasment to the union.

Posted by: knich76 | August 3, 2010 12:04 AM | Report abuse

Yes it was a horrible storm. But how does that make the hospital horrible ? What would have happened to patients if the vast majority of the nurses had NOT busted their butts and made it in. The hospital looked at the facts in each case and ultimately reinstated 1/2 of the 18 nurses. Sounds like the hospital was looking out for the interests of the community and that the union is trying to justify its existence. The hospital doesn't make much money, and it has to pay what the market demands or nurses leave.

Posted by: will123w | August 3, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Dependent care is offered for those who have children/ relatives who they care for. Also transportation and a hotel room to stay in if they do not wish to go home. I agree with enforcing good work ethic over giving back their jobs with back pay.

Posted by: Angela79 | August 3, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company