A union that represents the majority of workers recently laid off at Women and Infants Hospital is challenging the job cuts in federal court.
They get to stay on the job until at least Thursday. That’s when a federal judge will hear the union’s challenge. Women and Infants announced the lay-offs this week for more than 40 employees, including certified nurses assistants, imaging technicians, food and laundry service workers.
Their union, SEIU is suing. Spokesman Patrick Quinn said the hospital’s contract lays out conditions that must be met before layoffs. “A, we believe those conditions haven’t been met. And B, if they had the right, they should have moved on it back in October.”
Quinn said the hospital violated its contract with members, and should work with the union to avoid layoffs. “What we’re saying to them is there are many other opportunities to explore in order to reduce costs. And we’re not opposed to that. But we don’t want that to impact patient care.” Women and Infants said the lay-offs are necessary to control costs. The lawsuit goes before a federal judge in Providence this week.
Women and Infants said patient care will not be affected, and the hospital must control costs. A federal judge will hear from both parties this week on whether the layoffs are allowed under the current contract.
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