After years of negotiations, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser has refused to support a new contract and pay registered nurses at United Medical Center (UMC) raises back to 2014, reports the DC Nurses Association (DCNA). Despite orders by an arbitrator to provide salary increases and to allow a forum for DCNA nurses to have input over the number of RNs per patient at UMC, the mayor has not submitted the contract to the DC Council and the District recently informed DCNA that it will not certify the funds for the nurses. Nurses at UMC are severely underpaid and must care for too many patients, the union says, creating dangerous and unsafe nurse-patient ratios. In late September, frustrated DCNA members voted “no-confidence” in the UMC leadership, including CEO Luis Hernandez, who has since been removed from his position.
- photo of nurses Debra Washington (l) and Betty Holman (r), with attorney Wala Blegay (c), after no-confidence vote. photo credit Selena Simmons Duffin, WAMU