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OPEIU Protesting Hospital’s Reduction of Services

January 28, 2019

By Joe Levine

Little Rock, Ark.  OPEIU Local 22 registered nurses employed at CHI St. Vincent are outraged that theopeiu labor and delivery and NCIU units are closing in February.

“The hard-working nurses who staff the L&D unit are still reeling from the announcement that the 130-year-old unit would be closing before March 1” said Paige Yates, RN, president of Local 22. “This rush to close leaves our community and the families who depend on the labor and delivery unit, including the many inductions and caesarean births already scheduled for the coming months, in an extremely vulnerable position.”

The nurses have collected hundreds of signatures from the Little Rock community on a petition demanding transparency regarding hospital management’s decision to close the unit.  Administrators made no effort to consult with the Little Rock community,  nor the 65 nurses affected by the closing.

“In the past, management was up front about massive changes like this,” said Union President Yates, “This time, they are keeping us in the dark and giving conflicting answers on their reasons for the closure, depending on who is asking.”

“The community, including all the families who depend upon St. Vincent – many of them underinsured and reliant on Medicaid – deserve to know why the hospital is making the decision to close the labor and delivery unit at this time,” Yates continued.

Since 1888, St. Vincent has provided quality care to expectant and new mothers in the Little Rock area. Management’s decision to cease operations  after 130 years and thousands of successful childbirths is a shock and disappointment to the community.

*** The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), represents more than 103,000 members in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada.

January 28, 2019

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