Nurses at 15 HCA hospitals represented by National Nurses United protested last week, saying the for-profit hospital chain threatened layoffs. Nurses took to the sidewalks outside of their hospitals with signs, after they said they were told to expect cuts to benefits and staff if they didn’t give up negotiated wage increases.
In an emailed statement, HCA said it had no plans for layoffs.
A letter obtained by MedCity News threatened the possibility of reductions if the nurses did not accept HCA’s proposal.
The letter stated:
“The facts are that non-represented colleagues across the HCA Healthcare enterprise are taking pay reductions and non-represented colleagues are giving up wage increases this year. HCA Healthcare has made these tough decisions in order to preserve jobs. To be equitable to all of our colleagues across the enterprise, we recently reached out to unions, with the hope that during this time of crisis, they would support the same measures for our unionized employees to minimize the impact on your compensation and employment status. … If the (National Nurses Organizing Committee) and/or (Service Employees International Union) reject our proposal, colleagues represented by these unions will no longer be eligible for continued pandemic pay, may be subject to layoffs and may face other benefit changes.”
Nurses interviewed by MedCity News said they were asked to give up other benefits.
Zoe Schmidt, a registered nurse who works at Research Medical Center in Kansas City, said they were also asked to forego their 401(k) matching for the year and shift differential pay, or increased compensation for nurses that work night and weekend shifts.