Panic buttons among concessions as Fatima Hospital contracts finalized

Panic buttons among concessions as Fatima Hospital contracts finalized

NORTH PROVIDENCE – Members of the union representing employees at Our Lady of Fatima Hospital say their new contracts address concerns around safety at the hospital.

“The UNAP has long raised concerns relative to patient and worker safety at Fatima Hospital. Those immediate concerns have been appropriately addressed in these most recent contracts, specifically as they relate to the service and maintenance members,” said Ray Sullivan, spokesman for the group. “That being said, when future issues arise, this union will be a vocal and forceful advocate for change, when necessary.”

Though the union doesn’t typically discuss details of its contracts, Sullivan told The Breeze the new contract does include a provision to provide panic buttons to all employees.

“That’s a new policy that was adopted as part of this collective bargaining agreement,” he said.

The United Nurses and Allied Professionals Local 5110, which had been operating without a contract after their two-year deal expired Jan. 31, reached a deal with the operator of the hospital, CharterCARE Health Partners, last week.

“UNAP Local 5110 is proud to have won favorable contracts for both our service and maintenance employees and registered nurses locals,” said Sullivan. “These contracts address critical issues that have been raised by our members, including: workplace and patient safety, access to appropriate resources, as well as a competitive wages and benefit package that recognizes the commitment and world-class care and services provided by UNAP members.”

The Local 5110 represents more than 400 service workers and 300 registered nurses at the North Providence hospital.

“The quality of care we provide at Fatima Hospital is due in great measure to the talent and commitment of all of our workers. I am pleased that we have reached equitable contract agreements with Fatima’s service workers and nurses,” said Dr. Jeffrey Liebman, CEO of CharterCARE, in a statement. “These agreements provide stability in our unionized workforce, provide tangible benefits to union employees and sustain management’s ability to manage operations in a challenging market environment. We look forward to a collaborative working relationship with UNAP and its members to strengthen Fatima and CharterCARE’s quality record and exceptional patient care.”

Sullivan said both contracts were overwhelmingly ratified and “we are grateful to all members who participated in the process, especially the bargaining teams who spent hundreds of hours working to bring these deals to fruition.”

During an informational picket in January, UNAP leadership said members had filed some 150 incident reports with the hospital since 2016, 50 of those related to physical assaults of employees. The hospital also saw a 60 percent increase in employee injuries related to patient movement from 2015 to 2016, said the union at the time.

- Intern Samantha Latos contributed to this report.


““The quality of care we provide at Fatima Hospital is due in great measure to the talent and commitment of all of our workers”. Are the workers who are seen day and night who go outside and sit on the curb and smoke and drink coffee care about the quality of care for patients.
They sit in their scrubs where everyone who owns a dog in the area walks their dog. Know what I mean. Then they return inside. Infection city.