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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Moloka'i nurses remain on picket line

By Tim Hurley
Advertiser Maui Bureau

An afternoon of talks involving a federal mediator failed to produce a settlement yesterday in the 10-day-old strike of registered nurses at Moloka'i General Hospital.

Nurses picketed Monday in a park near the entrance to Moloka'i General Hospital.

Jan TenBruggencate • The Honolulu Advertiser

Although there was movement on both sides, it was not enough to end the walkout at the tiny Queen's Health Systems facility, the only hospital on Moloka'i.

Dino Fontes, picket captain for the strikers, said management offered a 3 percent raise in three increments over two years, while the union countered with a request for an immediate 2 percent raise in exchange for dropping its demand for bonuses of $350.

Five registered nurses remain on the picket line, along with a sixth nurse who was fired just before the walkout and is awaiting mediation. One registered nurse remains on the job.

The nurses have not received a pay increase in more than three years. Moloka'i's registered nurses are the lowest-paid in the state, making $25.10 an hour, or about $3 less per hour than their counterparts at The Queen's Medical Center.

Administrators say Moloka'i General loses about $2 million a year.