Howard University Hospital and its nurses union are returning to the negotiating table this week, forestalling a picket line that had been slated for Tuesday amid a long-running dispute with management.

The hospital agreed to start discussing a new contract in June with the nurses, more than a year after the previous pact expired. But little progress had been made, and in recent weeks, talks had stopped altogether, said Ed Smith, a staff attorney for the D.C. Nurses Association.

That will change tomorrow, according to the nurses’ Web page. An AFL-CIO newsletter said today there are three bargaining sessions scheduled for this week — one more than they’ve had in total so far, Smith said.

“We met on two occasions,” Smith said. “And we had some fruitful discussions, but obviously two sessions are nowhere near enough to talk about all the issues that are required to talk about at the bargaining table.” read more…