Union staff at Windham Hospital are giving a notice of intent to strike as negotiations continue.
The hospital said they've been actively engaged in negotiations for renewal contracts with two AFT bargaining units representing nurses, technical and support staff.
Negotiations have been ongoing since December 2021. In June, nurses and hospital staff picketed out front of the hospital. Employees, including lab technicians and food services, held signs and marched in a circle outside the hospital.
"During these long months of negotiations, we have made it clear that patient safety is our top priority," said Windham Federation of Professional Nurses President Andrea Riley, RN.
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"Not only have the network lawyer's refused to present fair proposals, management has broken federal workplace laws in the middle of a care crisis. That's not how health industry leaders who value safe patient care should behave," Riley said.
Hospital officials said their negotiating team has met for 42 official sessions, making "continuous efforts and concessions to find common ground."
"Our community should expect better from Hartford HealthCare's executives and lawyers. Provoking nurses to strike shows us their lack of respect both for their patients and their employees. We're hopeful a settlement can be reached but we're prepared to walk off the job if that's what it takes," said Karla Beckert, a registered nurse in the Greer Unit.
The hospital said in their last offer, they proposed eliminating mandatory overtime, increasing wages, and more.
"Windham Hospital remains committed to reaching fair settlements on new contracts. On August 29, the hospital asked the union for dates when it will be available to return to negotiations. The union has not responded with any bargaining dates. We remain ready to meet," the hospital said in a statement.