Administrative law judge hears Washoe Med labor dispute |

Administrative law judge hears Washoe Med labor dispute

The Associated Press

RENO (AP) – An administrative law judge began hearing testimony Tuesday in the on-going labor dispute between Washoe Medical Center and nurses.

The National Labor Relations Board has accused northern Nevada’s largest hospital of various unfair labor practices during a union election more than two years ago and ensuing negotiations that have since stalled.

The hearing before Administrative Law Judge Jay R. Pollack is expected to last two or three days, lawyers said. A written decision would be filed later.

The hospital’s registered nurses voted 315-206 in July 1999 to join Operating Engineers Local 3.

Nurses rejected Washoe Med’s final contract offer in March. The union said the proposal was rejected because it did not give nurses a voice in setting staffing levels, which they claim are so deficient at times that they jeopardize patient care.

Hospital officials maintain nurses have always had input and denied the union’s accusation that patient care is compromised.

Hospital administrators in April declared an impasse and imposed the contract.

Nurses in select units at the hospital staged a one-day walkout in June to protest the alleged unfair labor practices.

The last time the two sides met was in August, but negotiations broke down after only a few hours and no new talks have been scheduled.

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