A leading academic medical center based in the Midwest enlisted RP to lead communications as it entered contentious labor negotiations with National Nurses United (NNU), a California-based union known for its militant approach and national agenda to push for standardized staffing ratios at hospitals. RP developed and executed a multi-faceted communications campaign to engage the hospital’s nurses prior to and during the union negotiations. Given the hospital’s myriad stakeholders, the communications plan also contemplated how and when to communicate with other audiences, such as the broader hospital staff, partners, community, media and others.
Though NNU had called for a strike, it was eventually averted as a result of the contract agreement. Nonetheless, the hospital was equipped to quickly communicate about its strike plans, reassuring patients and the community that it was prepared to provide excellent care to patients regardless of the possible workforce disruption. After nine months of tense negotiations, the hospital and NNU agreed to a new contract. The terms of the contract were favorable to the hospital, and management retained its strong relationship with its nurses.