Nurses at First Hospital, Moses Taylor to strike; hospitals say they’ll be staffed

By Roger DuPuis - [email protected]
Health care employees at First Hospital held an informational picket outside the Kingston hospital last year. A one-day strike has been set for Wednesday. - Aimee Dilger | Times Leader file

Registered nurses at First Hospital in Kingston and Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton will hold a one-day strike Wednesday, union officials confirmed.

Hospital leaders, meanwhile, insist that they will maintain staffing and provide uninterrupted care during the labor action.

“The strike follows months of unproductive negotiations that have failed to yield fair union contracts that include progress on key issues such as understaffing, safety, and the floating of nurses between hospital units,” a release on behalf of the SEIU union stated.

Mental health technicians and other health care workers at First Hospital “will also be striking over the hospital’s illegal implementation of its final contract offer,” the release added.

Both hospitals are owned by Community Health Systems (CHS), a Tennessee-based for-profit health care company that has purchased several area hospitals in recent years.

The current union contracts at both hospitals expired last year, and an agreement has yet to be reached despite more than a dozen negotiation sessions, the union added.

As part of the strike, community rallies at each hospital will take place at noon Wednesday.

“Providing compassionate, quality care for patients needing behavioral services is always our top priority at First Hospital and we are ready to continue our mission during the union’s strike,” said Clayton Nottelmann, chief human resources officer at First Hospital, adding that his facility “will be open and will provide uninterrupted care for patients in our care.”

Elizabeth Leo, chief human resources officer at Moses Taylor, said her facility has received the union’s strike notice and is prepared to continue providing care.

Moses Taylor Hospital will be fully staffed and operational when the union commences its strike. All inpatient, outpatient and emergency services will be available and surgeries and diagnostic procedures will occur, as scheduled, Leo added.

Health care employees at First Hospital held an informational picket outside the Kingston hospital last year. A one-day strike has been set for Wednesday.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/web1_TTL061617firsthospital1-cmyk-7.jpgHealth care employees at First Hospital held an informational picket outside the Kingston hospital last year. A one-day strike has been set for Wednesday. Aimee Dilger | Times Leader file

By Roger DuPuis

[email protected]