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NLRB Decision Supports Quincy Medical Center in Negotiations with Nurses

Saturday, July 31, 2010 Nursing Profession News J E 4
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Finds Hospital Bargained in Good Faith and Properly Declared Impasse

QUINCY, Mass., July 31 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Labor Relations Board has determined that Quincy Medical Center "bargained in good faith" in its recent negotiations with the Massachusetts Nursing Association and management's decision to declare an impasse and implement its final proposals was lawful and proper.

The MNA filed an unfair labor practice complaint with the NLRB on April 1, 2010, following the declaration of an impasse after mediation and weeks of negotiation on a new contract. The complaint claimed the hospital had engaged in bad faith bargaining.

"We believed all along that our talks with the nurses union were conducted properly and fairly and, though we differed on some important issues, our aim was to reach an outcome to achieve needed economic relief," said Victor Munger, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at QMC. "We now look forward to returning to the table and negotiate a new agreement as we have done with other bargaining units."

In the last month, bargaining units for the Service Employees International Union and Mass. Laborers Local 367 ratified extended contracts that included voluntary and temporary wage adjustments that will give the hospital's management flexibility and time to implement a financial recovery plan intended to shore up QMC's finances.

In addition, QMC and Tufts Medical Center recently announced a clinical affiliation to support and expand QMC's ability to offer high-quality clinical services to local patients, and enhance area residents' access to advanced, tertiary-level care.

"These developments, along with the tremendous support we have received from our medical staff are humbling and improves our prospects for success and a bright future,'' Munger added. "We hope this progress can continue on all fronts, including with support from the nurses who are and remain vital to institution."

Quincy Medical Center is a 196-bed acute care community-teaching hospital, providing the highest quality, most personalized and comprehensive medical and surgical services to patients throughout the South Shore. A private, nonprofit hospital, QMC has played a vital role in the community since 1890, serving the needs of its diverse patient population without exception. QMC is an academic affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine, and is a leader in quality benchmarks both state and nationwide.

SOURCE Quincy Medical Center

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