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UNAP: Union members at Rhode Island Hospital vote ‘no confidence’ in Lifespan’s Babineau and Van Bree



Members of the United Nurses and Allied Professionals (UNAP) Local 5098, at Rhode Island Hospital have overwhelmingly voted “no confidence” in Lifespan CEO Timothy Babineau and Hospital President Margaret Van Bree. Union members passed a resolution delineating many of their concerns and are now calling on the Lifespan Board of Directors “to take immediate, corrective action to restore the public’s trust in Rhode Island’s only Level One Trauma Hospital.”

The union also voted Thursday to authorize members of its’ bargaining team to issue a 10-day strike notice, in the event that negotiations with Lifespan again break down. A second vote by the membership would have to occur before moving forward with a strike and the bargaining team has no immediate plans to issue a strike notice before both sides return to the table on August 8th. In the meantime, UNAP will conduct informational pickets in front of Rhode Island Hospital on August 6th and outside Miriam Hospital on August 7th.

“Under Babineau and Van Bree, front line caregiver morale has plummeted. Our members are tired of being ignored and undervalued, and we hope that the Lifespan board will begin to listen even as most in senior management continue to turn a deaf ear to the alarming problems facing this healthcare system,” said Frank Sims, RN, UNAP Local 5098 president.

UNAP represents more than 2,400 nurses, technologists, therapists and health professionals at Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospitals.

A copy of the resolution adopted by the members expressing “no confidence” in Babineau and Van Bree:

WHEREAS, the members of The United Nurses and Allied Professionals, Local 5098, hereby resolve that we affirm NO CONFIDENCE in Lifespan Chief Executive Officer Timothy Babineau and Rhode Island Hospital President Margaret Van Bree for the following reasons:

  • Gross negligence in providing critical resources for caregivers;
  • Creating a hostile work environment where nurses, technologists, therapists and mental health workers are devalued and disrespected. This environment inextricably leads to high staff turnover which places arduous and preventable burdens on over-worked and understaffed caregivers;
  • Leading through fear and intimidation, rather than mutual respect and adopting punitive and retaliatory measures that are meant to intimidate hospital workers — both before and after the strike.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that we, the United Nurses and Allied Professionals, Local 5098, do hereby regrettably, but fervently recommend no confidence in Timothy Babineau and Margaret Van Bree and urge the Lifespan Board of Directors to take immediate, corrective action to restore the public’s trust in Rhode Island’s only Level One Trauma Hospital.

[From a press release]

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UNAP Local 5082 represents approximately 150 registered nurses, social workers, pharmacists, laboratory technologists and other health professionals at Memorial Hospital.