Catholic Health, CWA at odds as contracts near expiration | Business Local

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Cavanaugh said staffing is a challenge for health systems and many other types of businesses. “Catholic Health hospitals provide market-competitive wages and benefits, which helps us recruit and retain great caregivers,” she said. “We also instituted supplemental pay to help with staffing while we work hard to fill all vacant positions with qualified candidates.”

Cavanaugh contends the union has rejected “several offers” by its hospitals that would help recruit and retain staff to fill job vacancies. “Regrettably, the union’s rhetoric about our hospitals and its divisive tactics undermine recruiting efforts,” she said.

The two sides aren’t just at odds over issues like staffing, wages, and benefits, but the negotiations themselves.

Catholic Health hospitals last week filed unfair labor practice charges against the CWA with the National Labor Relations Board, accusing the union of engaging in “bad-faith and surface bargaining.” The CWA contends Catholic Health has “refused to bargain in good faith.” Each side also accuses the other of using intimidation tactics against workers.

Zielinski, who is now executive director of Primary Care IPA, said hospital staffing is a “perennial issue” exacerbated by the pandemic.

Zielinski said recruiting to hire nurses is difficult, given the high stress and demands of the job. He called nurses the “backbone” of the health care system. “I think nurses are fairly well paid, but they’re certainly not paid as well as other providers in the health care system,” he said. 

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