Top 10 Tips for a Smoother Labor Dispute


By Brian Hall

As we all know, labor disputes can be very “sticky situations” and generally should be avoided if possible. However, sometimes negotiations break down, and they become unavoidable.

Medical Solutions’ array of total workforce solutions for hospitals and facilities helps you manage through these “sticky situations.” Over the years, we’ve learned how to avoid unnecessary complications and help keep your facility’s operations running smoothly throughout the job action. Not sure where to start? Here are our top 10 tips for a successful hospital labor dispute:

10.Create a labor dispute policy for your hospital. This policy will determine how your facility will operate during a job action. It should be broad in nature and include your continuity of care and public relations strategies.

9.Find a replacement staffing partner. Start talking with companies that specialize in hospital contingency planning and labor dispute staffing well in advance of negotiations. Labor dispute staffing can be highly specialized, and your partner should be an expert.

8.Consider transportation logistics. Make sure your selected replacement staffing partner provides a security and transportation team trained in NLRB guidelines and is licensed in your state. Drivers and security are a critical component of the logistics team and will greatly impact the overall smoothness of the replacement effort.

7.Seek out on-site leadership. Ensure your replacement staffing partner provides experienced, registered nurse managers on site throughout your job action. These managers should be your liaison between hospital administration and the replacement staff.

6.Create a communication protocol. This protocol will determine when information is released and which managers will need to be involved in the contingency planning process from a facility operations to a unit management standpoint.

5.Request a site survey. Bring your replacement staffing partner on site and ask them to survey your facility. They will need to gain a thorough understanding of your facility’s logistical requirements.

4.Understand the transportation and housing protocol for replacement workers. Talk with your replacement staffing company about cost-controlling measures related to travel and housing for replacement staff.

3.Maintain safety and security procedures. Designate a point of entry for staff entering and leaving the hospital during the labor dispute and a way of identifying replacement staff and permanent employees who are not involved in the labor dispute.

2.Keep the lines of communication open with management. Prepare your facility’s management team to be involved during the labor dispute. It will be important for managers to be accessible. The work stoppage may involve longer hours and additional duties for this team. Consistent communication regarding the event is also critical.

1.Listen to the advice of your replacement staffing partner. There are many moving parts during a job action, and the situation can change daily. An experienced replacement staffing company should know how to adapt to a wide variety of situations and provide solid advice throughout the event.

Most importantly, the goal for all parties involved should be maintaining continuity of care and patient satisfaction. If you have questions about contingency planning, please reach out to Medical Solutions Strike Staffing (formally Nurse Bridge) . We have assisted hundreds of hospitals with contingency planning and labor dispute staffing and can help you too.




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