A tentative agreement was reached Tuesday between Nathan Littauer Hospital and the NYS Nurses Association two days before the nurses were scheduled to walk off the job during a planned strike Sept. 1-2.
According to identical statements released by both sides, the deal averts the strike and a planned lockout by the hospital from Sept. 1 to the morning of Sept. 6. The agreement is subject to ratification by NYSNA members.
“Both parties are thankful that finally, through many sensitive negotiation sessions (including a 25-hour marathon final meeting), we were able to work resourcefully for a common goal benefiting all involved,” said the joint statement. “The agreement has yet to be ratified, but the strike and lockout notices have been withdrawn.”
The statement noted that negotiations were carried out under the guidance of federal mediation.
Little is known about the particulars of the deal.
“As each contract is ratified, then they will release details about the deal,” said a NYSNA spokesman.
If ratified, the deal would bring to a close over two years of labor strife between the hospital and NYSNA, which represents 112 registered nurses who work at the facility. The two sides have disagreed on a range of issues including pensions, benefits and staffing levels.
Before announcing the deal, both sides appeared to be at an impasse. Nathan Littauer accused NYSNA of making misleading statements and filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board against the union for “failure to bargain in good faith,” according to a statement released by the hospital last week.
The union has also filed a number of unfair labor practice complaints with the NLRB against the hospital in the past two years, including, most recently, for “unlawfully threatening to illegally make unilateral changes in the nurses’ benefits and to lock them out if they engage in their legal right to strike,” according to an Aug. 26 statement.
The NYSNA spokesman said a ratification vote will take place Thursday. It's unknown how many years the deal is good for.
NYSNA had scheduled one-day strikes at two other upstate hospitals, St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica and Samaritan Medical Center in Watertown. The union announced Aug. 26 they had reached a tentative agreement with Samaritan and called off the strike. The state of negotiations with St. Elizabeth’s is unknown.
Reach Gazette reporter Dan Fitzsimmons at 852-9605, [email protected] or @DanFitzsimmons on Twitter.