WOONSOCKET, R.I.--()--The Northern Rhode Island United Nurses & Allied Professionals, Local 5067, the union that represents nearly 600 employees at Landmark Medical Center (LMC) and the Rehabilitation Hospital of Rhode Island (RHRI), has reached a tentative agreement (TA) on a 5 year collective bargaining agreement (contract) with Landmark Hospital Holdco (Holdco). Holdco is a healthcare operating company whose affiliates have successfully acquired and saved three distressed community hospitals in the state of New Jersey. Holdco submitted an offer to acquire Landmark and RHRI to the Court appointed Special Master last November.
“The commitments Holdco has made to hospital employees and their families in the TA are also far superior to those made by Prime”
“The commitments Holdco has made to the Woonsocket and surrounding communities are far superior to those made by Prime Healthcare,” said Christopher Callaci, General Counsel for the union. “Unlike Prime, Holdco has agreed, in writing, to a one year moratorium on layoffs, to preserve clinical lines of service for at least 2 years, and has agreed not to sell the hospital for a period of at least 3 years,” said Callaci. “No other entity that has expressed an interest in acquiring LMC and RHRI has made that kind of commitment to protect the public interest,” said Callaci. In addition, Holdco, like Prime, has committed to operating LMC as an acute care hospital with an open and accessible emergency department for 5 years.
“The commitments Holdco has made to hospital employees and their families in the TA are also far superior to those made by Prime,” said Callaci. “But beyond the specific business points here, in our negotiations with Holdco we have found the company’s owners to be straightforward, reliable, and fair. They have a history of honoring their commitments in New Jersey and have demonstrated their ability to work hand-in-hand with communities to improve the quality of healthcare while lowering costs,” added Callaci. The TA will be put before the union membership for a ratification vote in a matter of days.
The union respects the ongoing Special Mastership proceeding and regulatory process. At the same time, the union is concerned about the recent reporting on the federal probes that Prime is facing and the extent to which that may impact the Prime transaction. “It is prudent that we do all we can for the community, the employees and their families to bring this process to a successful conclusion, hence our work with Holdco,” said Callaci.