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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Sunday, November 17, 2002

Queen's requests contract mediator

By Karen Blakeman
Advertiser Staff Writer

The Queen's Medical Center has requested a federal mediator in contract negotiations with nurses.

Queen's is among the five major hospitals in negotiations with 2,500 nurses represented by the Hawai'i Nurses Association.

Queen's spokeswoman Lynn Kenton said last night that talks between Queen's and the association are scheduled to resume late this week. The decision to bring in a mediator was made late Friday, she said.

Kaiser Foundation Hospital officials said Friday that they also have requested a mediator.

Sue Scheider, executive director of the Nurses Association, said last night that the association has suggested a mediator for Kapi'olani Medical Center negotiations, and mediation also is being considered for other hospital talks.

St. Francis Medical Center and Kuakini Medical Center also are in negotiations.

Scheider said management contract proposals have not dealt with key issues the nurses want addressed. She said nurses are asking for full health insurance coverage after retirement, a wage progression that will help to retain experienced nurses, and an increase in staffing to levels deemed by the American Nurses Association to be safe for the patients.