January 22, 2001
MEDIA CONTACT: Gary Stephenson
PHONE: (410) 955-5384
Despite a good-faith effort on the part of The Johns Hopkins Hospital over the past two months to reach a settlement with District 1199E, SEIU, AFL-CIO, the Union has notified us of its intent to engage in a strike. As required by federal law, the Union has formally announced its plans to stage the strike on Wednesday, January 31, 2001 beginning at 6:00 a.m. Based on earlier communications from the Union, we expect the strike to be for one day only.
Regrettably, it appears that the Union is more willing to devote its energy and resources to organizing a strike rather than on a good faith effort to reach an agreement. We can only suspect that this course of action is driven by a desire to serve broader union interests than the interests of Union members at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.
While we asked at the last bargaining session to continue negotiating with the Union throughout the weekend, the Union was unwilling to do so. At present, the parties remain far apart, principally due to the Union's failure to alter its unreasonable wage demands (6% per year) and its continued insistence on a potentially illegal demand (a pledge by management to allow access to non-organized workers beyond what is provided by federal law). We have asked the Federal Mediator to encourage the Union to return to the bargaining table as soon as possible in good faith to reach a negotiated settlement.
Our bargaining position is flexible, but we can't negotiate with ourselves. We remain prepared to make reasonable compromises provided the Union proves equally flexible. The Hospital remains committed to resolving these management/labor issues in hopes of avoiding this strike or any other job action by the Union.