MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - UPHS-Marquette nurses have scheduled a strike for two days next month, according to a news release from the Michigan Nurses Association, but an agreement could still be reached before then.
Nurses of the UPHS-Marquette RN Staff Council and the Michigan Nurses Association notified hospital management Friday morning of their intent to strike on Oct. 5 and 6. Nurses have four more bargaining dates and mediation scheduled before then.
Nurses have been in contract negotiations with Duke LifePoint since April 18. A two-month extension expired on July 28, and RNs have been working without a contract since. Nurses say they have been dealing with unsafe staffing levels.
Nurses are required by law to give the hospital 10 days notice before striking.
“We have said all along that striking is an extremely serious decision for nurses. We want to be at the bedside caring for our patients. Duke LifePoint has made it all but impossible to provide the care that the Marquette community deserves,” said Scott Balko, an Operating Room RN and President of the UPHS Marquette RN Staff Council/MNA, in the press release. “We still have four bargaining dates and mediation scheduled before our strike. Now is the time for Duke LifePoint to do the right thing for patients – guarantee safe RN staffing levels and a hospital environment that will attract and retain nurses for years to come.”
On August 29, the union says an overwhelming majority of nurses voted to give their bargaining team the authority to schedule a strike.
TV6 has contacted UPHS-Marquette administration for a comment on this development. Stay with UpperMichigansSource.com and watch your TV6 Early News for the latest information.