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KADLEC NURSES STRIKE CONTINUES

 RICHLAND, Wash., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Taking time out today to soundly reject management's latest version of its proposal, registered nurses today returned to the picket line as they near the end of four weeks on strike against Kadlec Medical Center.
 This morning's written offer was voted down by 94 percent of the RNs, who were further angered by the fact that it was very different from verbal understandings reached during negotiations Wednesday. Nurses were already fuming by the misleading and skewed ads the hospital had taken out in the newspaper. Still, until this morning's unexpectedly altered proposals, nurse negotiators were optimistic.
 Chief among the disputes is the complex issue of scheduling. Not only was the written proposal dramatically different from previous agreements, it mandated some part-time nurses work full-time, and called for some nurse layoffs. The proposal further attempted to allow management to proceed with layoffs without following procedures set forth in the contract.
 Another dispute surrounds the issue of binding arbitration. Both sides say they want it, however, the nurses insist the panel of arbitrators should have the authority to develop compromises if deemed necessary. The hospital won't agree to the arbitration unless it can be held "winner-takes-all" format. The nurses, represented by the Washington State Nurses Association, feel this attitude is contrary to a win-win style of negotiations, which they favor. They have asked to continue negotiations with a mediator.
 The strike commenced Sept. 6. Outstanding issues include definition of overtime (after 8- 10- and 12-hours shifts), low census standby, wages and benefits.
 WSNA is the professional association for registered nurses, providing continuing education, nursing practice expertise, and legislative representation. Representing about 14,000 nurses, WSNA is also the oldest and largest RN union in Washington. WSNA is a constituent of the American Nurses Association.
 -0- 9/30/93
 /CONTACT: Karen McGrath, 509-946-4661, Dennis Burnside, 206-443-9762, both for the Washington State Nurses Association/


CO: Washington State Nurses Association ST: Washington IN: HEA SU:

LD -- NY137 -- 7594 09/30/93 23:44 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 30, 1993
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