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Home > Article Categories > Nursing Jobs > Union Letter Declined by Backus Official

Union Letter Declined by Backus Official

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Norwich ? A dozen of The William W. Backus Hospital?s off-duty nurses tried on Monday to hand a letter to hospital President and Chief Executive Officer David Whitehead requesting for voluntary acknowledgment of an AFT Connecticut union local to represent the 480 registered nurses of the hospital.

Eric Bailey, AFT spokesman, said Whitehead?s office staff told the group of nurses that he, Whitehead, was not available and refused to receive the letter in behalf of their boss. The letter ? signed by 28 nurses ? was placed on a chair in the office by the nurses and requested it be handed to Whitehead or at least he be told they left the letter there, Bailey narrated. They also requested for a meeting with Whitehead at another time.

Backus spokesman, Shawn Mawhiney, claimed the hospital ?respectfully declined to recognize the letter.?

Bailey explained, if Whitehead were to come to terms to the request in the letter, the hospital could right away start negotiating a contract with the nurses and a formal union election would not have to transpire. Now, a majority of the registered nurses have signed cards declaring that they back having a union, he added.

Bailey warned that unless the hospital were to agree to the voluntary recognition of the union, the cards will be presented to the National Labor Relations Board when the union submits paperwork requesting a union recognition vote come to pass.

Mawhiney, on the other hand, explained the hospital favors that nurses have the option to vote on the union in a secret ballot election.

Mawhiney added that they will pursue the dialogue with all of their nurses on the value of preserving a union free Backus. "Our administration and CEO are always open to talking about the hospital with any employee who comes forward."

According to Bailey, he assumes that he would be able to pass the paperwork for the union vote in about a week, and approximately two months after that ? an election would transpire. The majority of the state?s unionized hospital workers are represented by AFT Connecticut, including those at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital in New London.

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