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L+M, unions end Friday without deal; talks to resume next week

By Judy Benson

Publication: The Day

Published November 16. 2013 4:00AM

New London - Contract negotiations between Lawrence + Memorial Hospital and two unions concluded Friday without an agreement, but another session is scheduled for next week.

Matt O'Connor, spokesman for AFT Connecticut, the union that represents the workers, said little progress was made at Friday, "particularly on patient care concerns."

The contract between the hospital and the two union locals representing about 800 registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and technicians expires this morning. Workers will continue without a contract as talks continue.

"All programs and services will be running as normal," hospital spokesman Mike O'Farrell said. "Both sides are focused on coming to an agreement."

The hospital was informed by AFT Friday that if a strike is called, it would begin no sooner than 6 a.m. on Nov. 27 and last until 11 p.m. on Nov. 30. Workers voted Thursday to authorize union leadership to call a strike if negotiations reach an impasse.

O'Connor said the union informed the hospital that it intends to conduct informational picketing outside the hospital on Nov. 25.

"Our negotiating committee members remain hopeful that we can resolve our concerns over the impact of moving patient care services off-site with a mutual agreement before Nov. 27," he said.

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