Salem nurses need virus protection, new contract - Health Professionals & Allied Employees

Salem nurses need virus protection, new contract

Taken from

May 5, 2020

As we enter the third month of a global pandemic with one of the deadliest viruses the world has ever seen, Salem Medical Center and its new owner, Community Healthcare Associates, are denying nurses the protections they need to stay on the front lines.

Contract negotiations which began in December have stalled, and nurses have been working without a new labor agreement since the previous one expired on Jan. 31.

In these tragic days of sickness from COVID-19, these nurses — who have seen only one pay raise in seven years — are asking for a fair contract with better pay and benefits, sufficient staffing to better serve patients, hazard pay for nurses caring for COVID-19 patients, and paid leave and quarantine for staff who get contagious coronavirus symptoms.

Rather than expediting settlement of a contract so we can return our focus to the pressing matter of providing critical during this outbreak, we have been met by delays and distractions in bargaining. In addition, the National Labor Relations Board is currently investigating our claims that CHA Partners repeatedly violated our contract by unilaterally eliminating our paid time off and sick leave.

CHA Partners and its managing partner, Bill Cogan, have chosen conflict and stalling tactics against essential frontline workers at this critical moment. We urge you to stand with your frontline caregivers at the hospital by urging CHA to respect its nurses and settle the contract.

Giving the nurses a fair contract with incentives and protections will help retain staff and recruit nurses to our local hospital during this battle against COVID-19.

Karen Masusock
President, Local 5142
Health Professionals & Allied Employees
Salem Medical Center

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