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Nurses may strike amid labor dispute with Albany hospital

| Sep 25, 2020 | Labor Law |

Any dispute between employers and workers in New York can be complicated. If the workers have a collectively bargained agreement and claim that the employer is failing to live up to its responsibilities, it can lead to a dispute. If there are negotiations on a new contract, it can also lead to acrimony and labor strife. For those who work as emergency responders and in health care, the current situation makes their demands more important. One case in Albany could lead to a nurse strike as their impasse with the hospital continues. In these circumstances, having legal assistance can be essential to reach a satisfactory resolution.

Nurses claim hospital is balking over their contract

Nurses at the hospital say they have been subjected to various levels of unfair treatment including a wage freeze, a loss of vacation time, and a reduction in hours. In addition, they want better staffing, higher wages, health insurance that is more affordable, and improved health and safety on the job. As the health crisis continues, the nurses say they worked the entire time. Still, the hospital has yet to agree on a new contract.

Their union set a strike date if no agreement is reached. There are approximately 2,000 nurses at the facility and they overwhelmingly agreed that a strike can move forward if the negotiations are fruitless and their demands are not met. There was also a demonstration after Labor Day in which nurses were joined by lawmakers and other unions to emphasize how important these contract requests are. The spokesman for the hospital says it is negotiating with the nurses and pointed out that there have been no furloughs despite financial losses.

Unions should be aware of the need for legal assistance

Collective bargaining negotiations are rarely smooth. Disagreements are commonplace and each side will state its position with occasional difficulty in finding common ground. Some cases are more contentious than others. A mistake unions and their leaders often make is failing to have sufficient legal assistance to ensure that the employer is following the law and negotiating in good faith. For relatively amicable negotiations or cases in which there is a gap and the workers need to strike, it is imperative to have legal assistance throughout the process. A law firm with experience and a full understanding of labor law may be able to help.