(BIVN) – Nurses at Queen’s North Hawai‘i Community Hospital in Waimea held an informational picket on Wednesday, after months of pay negotiations.
From a news release by the Hawai‘i Nurses’ Association:
Queen’s North Hawai‘i Community Hospital and the Hawai‘i Nurses’ Association (HNA), which represents the hospital’s approximately 80 nurses, have been negotiating since March 4, 2022. Although the nurses’ contract ended on April 1, both sides have negotiated in good faith, but are still far apart over the issue of equitable pay.
“Our biggest issue is the lack of fairness and equality. Queen’s is refusing to compensate the North Hawai‘i Community Hospital nurses the same as the Queen’s nurses on O‘ahu, unlike other healthcare providers such as Hawai‘i Pacific Health and Kaiser Permanente,” said Dan Ross, HNA’s president. “We’ve asked for their rationale for paying the Waimea nurses much less and being treated differently than those on O‘ahu, but have not received any answer for the glaring disparity.”
“Queen’s is sending a strong message that safe staffing is not a priority to ensure quality patient care, but we feel residents on the island of Hawai‘i deserve better,” Ross said. “The blatant disregard for the nurses’ concerns ultimately impacts every patient at the hospital, especially since the hospital may struggle with retaining adequate nursing staff with lower wages.”
“The members are tired of being treated as second-class nurses, even though they work just as hard as those on O‘ahu,” Ross said, noting that a mediation session is scheduled for Thursday, April 21. “They are ready to fight and we hope Queen’s comes around and does the right thing; otherwise, we’ll be back again with another informational picket on Saturday.”