Union nurses at Straub Medical Center took to the picket lines this weekend amid their fight for a better contract.
Nurses insist they need better contract terms saying their sick policy is “ridiculously strict” and intimidating.
But the parent company of the hospital, Hawaii Pacific Health, disagrees. HPH says its policies are standardized to ensure fairness and patient safety.
“Their attendance policy is really strict. It’s archaic, outdated,” said Sean Shields, the Director of Field Services for the Hawaii Nurses’ Association.
“Basically, it’s created such an atmosphere of fear and intimidation for these nurses. They’re so worried about being disciplined that if they call out sick, they’re actually coming into work sick, rather than calling out,” he added.
About 450 Straub nurses have been without a contract since Nov. 1.
In a statement, Straub’s CEO said the wages and benefits in a settlement offer are fair, and that the offer is consistent with other contracts with the Hawaii Nurses’ Association at other HPH medical centers.
Negotiations between the union and HPH resume on Wednesday.