The following article is a news release issued 4/16/2019 from the Indiana Regional Medical Center.
On Friday, April 12, 2019, IRMC filed an unfair labor practice charge against IRNA/PSEA with the National Labor Relations Board. IRMC filed the charge in response to IRNA/PSEA’s bad faith bargaining, including engaging in regressive bargaining.
Earlier that same day, IRNA/PSEA filed an unfair labor practice charge in response to IRMC’s declaration of impasse and its decision to implement certain provisions of its last, best and final contract offer given the impasse. IRMC is confident that it has bargained in good faith and reached a lawful impasse before implementing these provisions.
The hospital will vigorously defend its actions through the legal process while continuing to hope that IRNA/PSEA leadership will accept its last, best and final offer that was never presented to the union membership for consideration.
On March 25, IRMC declared an impasse in negotiations for a number of reasons, including:
- The lack of any progress since January 2019, when IRMC first presented its last, best and final offer;
- The union’s continuing rejection of IRMC’s last, best and final offer in February and March 2019, and making no movement to break the parties’ stalemate; and
- The union’s regressive bargaining on March 25, 2019, after IRMC had engaged in good-faith bargaining over 26 bargaining sessions dating back to August 2018.
IRMC has repeatedly emphasized to IRNA/PSEA that the hospital is at a critical crossroads and that changes needed to be made to bring labor costs in line in order to IRMC to remain and independent hospital. The union’s refusal to consider IRMC’s last, best and final offer resulted in the impasse and IRMC’s decision to implement changes to certain benefits. These implemented changes will remain in place while the NLRB considers the unfair labor practices. Any NLRB decision can be appealed to federal court during which time the implemented changes would remain implemented until a final ruling.
We continue to strongly believe that PSEA/IRNA Leadership should let their members consider IRMC’s last, best, final offer.
We believe a majority of our nurses, along with all our employees, do not want to experience a lengthy legal process, let alone the possibility of a second strike by the union. As stewards of our community’s healthcare system, IRMC’s Board and Administration remains committed to doing whatever is required to sustain IRMC’s financial viability as an independent hospital. A contract settlement is critical to IRMC’s outlook and financial plan that has also been impacted by lower reimbursements and $6 million in losses over the past 18 months.
We are managing this situation as best we can and remain hopeful. We are very proud of the work and superior care provided by our nurses, doctors and staff every single day. These are our co-workers and friends who care deeply about their patients and their work.
Ultimately, our goal is to reach a mutually acceptable agreement with union leadership for the benefit of our hardworking nurses and the patients and community they passionately serve. IRMC wants to reassure all patients that providing the best possible health care to the entire community is our top priority.