MODERN HEALTHCARE's story concerning Beverly Health and Rehabilitation Services' Pennsylvania labor agreements (July 14, p. 49) did not make clear that a decision regarding the legality of the April 1996 strike is pending before the courts, based on the failure of the Service Employees International Union locals to give the 10-day strike notice required by Section 8(g) of the Labor Management Relations Act.
Also pending is Beverly's challenge to the legality of U.S. District Court Judge D. Brooks Smith's granting of the NLRB's request for an injunction ordering strikers to return to work. Beverly had been voluntarily returning strikers as positions became available since the unions' unconditional offer to return to work in April 1996 and notably well before the injunction this year.
Before the intervention of Gov. Tom Ridge, the union had been insisting on a master agreement for all Pennsylvania facilities and repeatedly had refused to negotiate on a local basis as required by the separate union certifications at each facility.
The end result is that the agreements reached continue to be locally negotiated agreements. Eighteen out of the 20 agreements had common expiration dates before the current negotiations. The new agreements are for four years with a majority of the facilities having wage reopeners.
Gina D. Lucchi
Chief negotiator and division vice president of human resources
Beverly Health and Rehabilitation Services
Fort Smith, Ark.