News from the Michigan Nurses Association
Contact: Andrew Baker; 517-488-1707
Nurses at UPHS Marquette Vote to Authorize a Strike
Management fails to address safe staffing issues
(Marquette, MI) On Tuesday, August 29, nurses at UPHS Marquette voted to authorize their locally elected bargaining team to call a strike.
Nurses have been in contract negotiations with Duke LifePoint since April 18. RNs are seeking contract language to ensure staffing levels necessary for patient safety. The two-month contract extension they negotiated with Duke LifePoint in late May lapsed on July 28 after management failed to address staffing concerns. Nurses are currently working without a contract, and continue to bargain in good faith with hospital administration.
This authorization sends a strong message to Duke LifePoint and UPHS Marquette management. If the hospital fails to address outstanding patient safety concerns and other issues, nurses at the hospital now have the option of striking.
By law, nurses are required to give the hospital notice 10 days in advance before any planned strike action is carried out.
“Striking is not a decision that nurses consider lightly. As dedicated professionals, however, we cannot stand by in good conscience and allow these dangerous conditions to persist,” said Scott Balko, RN and President of the UPHS Marquette RN Staff Council/MNA. “A strike can still be avoided if our patient safety concerns are addressed. We call on Duke LifePoint to honor their commitment to our community and our patients. That means agreeing to a contract that guarantees safe staffing levels and a workplace that will attract and retain high quality nurses in the years to come.”