California mental health workers vote to end 10-week strike
The strike against CUPW, which began on Nov. 1, is over
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Health workers at New York’s public hospital system have voted to end a strike that had cost the state tens of millions of dollars over the past 10 weeks.
As part of the collective bargaining agreement, the Hospital Employees and Patients Association, or HEPA, announced a two month strike beginning Monday and ending on Friday.
The agreement calls for the union to return to the bargaining table by June 1, just over a month ahead of the three months’ time frame originally allotted for negotiations.
“This is our moment,” HEPA President Jeffrey M. Berman said on behalf of the union, which represents 7,400 workers at seven hospitals. “CUPW is failing its workers. Our action is about our health care workers’ right to organize and to bargain collectively.”
The strike is the latest development in a bitter dispute at CUPW, the nation’s largest union with more than 150,000 members.
It began on Nov. 1 when unionized health care workers staged a demonstration at CUPW’s home office in the Bronx, claiming to be angry that workers in the New Jersey-based union were voting to decertify the union.
The group of three to five people marched to CUPW’s offices, chanting and holding signs that read “Get Out!”
Their presence drew a large group of about 20 police officers, who surrounded the building and asked for an order from the building’s management. When the group refused to leave, officers ordered them to disperse, and they complied.
“If you want to be respectful, I respect your opinions,” one officer told the group. “But you’re not going to disrupt the peaceful protest that’s happening on the sidewalk today.”
The NYPD has said that the officers were in full uniform and on duty,