A party bus is at the center of a union dispute between Ben Taub Hospital and a group of recently-terminated nurses and technicians.
In late December, 10 off-duty and former hospital staffers were enjoying a holiday get-together in a rented bus. After spending much of the evening cruising through downtown Houston, the group decided to make a stop at Ben Taub. Party bus attendees say they just wanted to use the restrooms.
“This would have to be one of the most unorthodox terminations I’ve ever witnessed," explained AFSCME representative Cynthia Cole.
According to a statement sent to CultureMap from the Harris Health System, the employees were suspended immediately and, after a week-long investigation, eventually fired.
Ben Taub begs to differ, claiming that the group "acted inappropriately" during "an early morning visit to a restricted area." A termination document obtained by KHOU states that the bus was parked on the ambulance dock, where the revelers continued to drink. Allegedly, the partying could be heard in a nearby bereavement room.
Hoping to be reinstated, each employee has filed a formal grievance through the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). The process is ongoing.
“They were off duty,” AFSCME representative Cynthia Cole explained to Russell. “This would have to be one of the most unorthodox terminations I’ve ever witnessed.”
Watch the full KHOU report below: