Company recruiting strike nurses for UPHS-Marquette

Photo courtesy: MGN

MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - A global health care staffing company is looking for licensed registered nurses to work at UP Health System-Marquette if current nurses strike next month.

According to a post on its website, HealthSource Global has received a strike notice for a five-day strike in Michigan. The company confirms it is at UPHS-Marquette.

HealthSource Global says it is recruiting Michigan licensed RNs in all specialties. Pay rates are $65-$70 an hour, depending on specialties. HSG also pays for housing and airfare or mileage reimbursement.

Scott Balko, RN and President of the UPHS-Marquette RN Staff Council/Michigan Nurses Assocation responded to the job posting in a statement.

"These wages are more than double what UPHS Marquette nurses earn," Balko said. "It is appalling that Duke Lifepoint would invest that money in temporary help and not in its staff, and its ability to care for the patients at its own hospital."

Last Friday, UPHS-Marquette nurses scheduled a strike from Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7:00 a.m. until Saturday, Oct. 7 at 6:59 a.m. UPHS-Marquette administration and the Michigan Nurses Association both said there were four more bargaining dates and mediation set before then. Hospital administration said two of the sessions were this week, Tuesday and Wednesday.

UPHS-Marquette administrators addressed temporary staffing in a statement late last Friday afternoon.

"We are securing fully-qualified staff to replace those who go on strike and are attending to every detail in preparation for this event. As always, delivering quality care and services to our patients will remain our primary focus, and we will not allow anything to stand in the way of providing the best for our community," said Victor Harrington, hospital spokesperson.

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.

TV6, FOX UP and will have continuing coverage of this story as it unfolds.

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