The sparring between Johns Hopkins Hospital and the union that represents about 2,000 of its employees continues Tuesday, as the two parties return to the negotiating table and the workers weigh whether to launch another strike.
Bargaining resumed Tuesday morning and will likely last through the evening. Meanwhile, the workers will cast votes on whether to authorize another action at the hospital, such as an informational picket or even another strike.
If the bargaining committee (a group of employees that represents the 2,000 service and maintenance workers) is not satisfied with the talks Tuesday, committee members could suggest that workers strike or picket on a certain date. The workers would then have to vote to approve that suggestion.
The dispute began several months ago, since before the workers’ last labor contract expired on March 31. The workers launched a three-day strike in early April, and followed up with a major rally last month.
Jim McNeill, a spokesman for 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, said the union decided to hold Tuesday’s authorization vote because the most recent negotiations with Hopkins, on June 9, were disappointing.
The hospital did offer some compromises that would inch closer to meeting the union’s demands, but workers were still not satisfied, McNeill said.
Hopkins officials have repeated issued statements saying they are “bargaining in good faith” and are trying to balance multiple priorities while being financially responsible.