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Mediation Likely In Kansas University Hospital Labor Dispute

Negotiations are standing still between KU Hospital and members of its nurses' union. The next step is mediation.

Hospital administration and the KU Nurses' Association have declared impasse with the Kansas Public   Employee Relations Board. The hospital offered a pay hike of 2 percent but took away premium pay for less desirable shifts and other situations. Rank and file voted it down. 

Hospital spokesman Jill Chadwick said another union element may make agreement more difficult.

“The American federation of teachers, AFT, they’re getting involved at a national level and they’re giving their support and I think that they have a little bit of a different approach,” said Chadwick.

Nurses' Union President Emily Harvey said the proposed contract would drive away qualified nurses who are now employed at the Kansas City, Kan. hospital.

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service will be asked to step into the discord. The agency helped end the 1977 Kansas City Missouri Teachers Union strike.

There is no possibility of a strike in the KU Hospital labor dispute. That is prohibited by state law.

"We just have to stand together,” said Harvey.

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