WILLIMANTIC, Conn. (WTNH) — Windham Community Memorial Hospital registered nurses have approved a settlement with Hartford HealthCare, the group’s union announced Monday.
The nurses voted Friday on the agreement — two months after they went on a two-day strike.
“The overwhelming support for this agreement proves what we’ve all seen throughout this pandemic; nurses united can never be divided,” said Andrea Riley, the president of the Windham Federation of Professional Nurses and a registered nurse in the hospital’s emergency department. “The road to get here has not been easy, and we’re grateful to our patients and the entire region of having our backs every step of the way. Now we can focus on what we do best — delivering the great quality care they deserve.”
The four-year agreement removes language about mandatory overtime, allows nurses to volunteer for extra shifts and decreases employee insurance premiums.
Hartford HealthCare said in a written statement to News 8 that it is pleased that the contract has been ratified.
“More than five months ago, the hospital made a fair and equitable offer and outlined what was needed to settle the contract while addressing the union’s issues,” the statement reads. “We are pleased that, over the past several months, the union was able to work with the economic framework the hospital proposed on June 29 and reach this agreement. We are eager to move ahead, and continue in our mission to serve the community.”
Jan Hochadel, the president of the American Federation of Teachers’ Connecticut chapter, said in the written announcement that “It’s unfortunate that our members were pushed into action in order to make this healthcare chain prioritize safe patient limits.”
“We have been fighting for the safety and well-being of the Windham community, which our members have served courageously throughout the pandemic,” Hochadel said. “This contract improves their working conditions – that means their patient’s conditions are improved too.”
The agreement also has the support of the Windham Community Memorial Hospital United Employees.