Contract Talks Yield No Breakthrough for Nurses, UVM Medical Center | Off Message

Contract Talks Yield No Breakthrough for Nurses, UVM Medical Center

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Nurses at a honk-and-wave rally outside the hospital - SARA TABIN
  • Sara Tabin
  • Nurses at a honk-and-wave rally outside the hospital
Updated at 6:45 pm.

No deal was reached during Friday night negotiations between the University of Vermont Medical Center and its nurses, and less than a week remains until nurses plan to strike. On Saturday, the union and hospital both released statements announcing that bargaining will continue Monday and Tuesday afternoons without a federal mediator.

The nurses' bargaining team met with hospital officials through a federal mediator on Friday evening. The two sides worked into the night, but by 10:20 p.m. negotiations were over and no significant progress had been made, according to Sharon Schroeder, a spokesperson for the Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals.

Hospital spokesman Michael Carrese declined to provide specifics about Friday's talks, since the two sides agreed to keep the mediation confidential.

Carrese released a statement Saturday afternoon saying the hospital believes the nurse's request for a 24 percent wage increase was not realistic. The statement also responded to the union's demand for parity in salaries with nurses at Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital, saying CVPH's pay plan would result in lower salaries for a third of the hospital's nurses.

On June 13 the union announced that 1,227 of its 1,800 members had voted to empower their bargaining team to serve the hospital a notice for a two-day strike; the union did so on Monday. The nurses will strike on July 12 and 13 if no contract is agreed upon.

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