Union Reaches Contract Agreement With Minn. Hospitals
The agreement averts a threatened strike at eight Twin Cities hospitals.
Associated Press/(St. Paul) Pioneer Press: Twin Cities: Workers At Eight Hospitals Ratify Contract
Union workers have overwhelmingly ratified a new three-year contract that averted a strike at eight Twin Cities hospitals. The union represents 3,500 nursing assistants, technicians and support staff. The agreement was reached last week after union members voted to authorize a 2- to 5-day strike. The union says the new contract holds back on increases in health benefit premiums, retains overtime benefits and includes small wage increases (5/23).
Minneapolis Star Tribune: Workers At 8 Twin Cities Hospitals Ratify New Union Contract
The vote, by members of the Service Employees International Union Healthcare Minnesota, came just over a week after the union had threatened a two- to five-day strike as its contract was set to expire. The two sides reached a tentative agreement last Wednesday (Lerner, 5/23).
In other news from hospitals around the country -
Modern Healthcare: Sinai Health, Holy Cross Explore Affiliation
Two Chicago faith-based institutions—Jewish Sinai Health System and Catholic Holy Cross Hospital—are discussing a possible affiliation that would have the 282-bed Holy Cross joining the Sinai system. The two organizations are in the due diligence phase, which is expected to last until July, and a letter of intent signing is expected soon after, according to an e-mailed news release (Robeznieks, 5/23).
Kansas Health Institute News: State Hospitals' Troubles Worry Region's Officials
Mental health officials in western Kansas today sought assurances that Larned State Hospital will continue to provide inpatient care for the mentally ill. … High Plains Mental Health Center serves 20 counties in northwest Kansas, all of which are in the Larned hospital's 61-county catchment area. … [One mental health center executive director] said his anxiety was fueled by the news Monday that the hospital’s superintendent, Christopher Burke, had resigned amid the facility’s efforts to correct 30 deficiencies cited during a recent accreditation survey (Ranney, 5/23).
WBUR's Common Health blog: High-Cost Hospitals Perhaps Thorniest Issue In Health Reform 2.0
On one side is (Massachusetts state) Rep. Steve Walsh, the House point person on health reform, whose bill proposes the luxury tax of 10 percent on hospitals that charge more than 20 percent above the median price for their services and cannot justify the mark-up. On the other is Senate President Therese Murray, who "recently told the News Service she would not entertain the idea in eventual negotiations with the House" (Goldberg, 5/23).