Nurses File Labor Charges Against Reno Hospital

RENO, Nev. (AP) - The union representing nurses at Renown Regional Medical Center has filed unfair labor practice charges against the Reno hospital.

Allegations filed with the National Labor Relations Board by the Service Employees International Union Local 1107 accuses hospital management of illegally intimidating nurses about their union activities.

Union officials say it also plans to file charges of bad faith bargaining.

Hospital officials were not immediately available for comment.

Renown and nurses represented by the SEIU of Nevada have been
locked in contract negotiations for about a year, although there have been many months where no talks were held.

Nurses want more say in establishing nurse-to-patients ratios.

Statement from Renown

We have not seen the specific charges, but we are confident they lack merit since we have bargained in good faith since negotiations began more than a year ago. The filing of Unfair Labor Practices is a typical union tactic and not a surprise to us. We believe the SEIU is trying to divert attention from the fact that they have failed to engage in productive, good faith negotiations.

SEIU Local 1107 continues to be preoccupied with internal member dissatisfaction including Department of Labor charges and ongoing investigation into allegations of illegal conduct. The chief negotiator has missed the last two meetings and the union cancelled tomorrow's session. Renown was not notified that the SEIU's chief negotiator would not be present.

The union is distracted and is not coming to the table.

180 days of meeting time offered/Only 10 Agreed to by SEIU

Renown has agreed to meet any time-any place-any day (including holidays and weekends) starting in January of this year. So, in essence, we have offered 180 days to meet. The union has only agreed to 10 sessions during that time. Two additional sessions have been cancelled by the SEIU.

For months, proposals have been on the table from Renown with no SEIU response. Conversely Renown has responded to every proposal that SEIU has put on the table.

Instead of false accusations, we wish they'd join us at the bargaining table full time so we can come to an agreement that honors our nurses for the work they do everyday.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)