Logan Health nurses to strike in June

The union representing 650 nurses at Kalispell, Mont.-based Logan Health said workers plan to strike June 1-3 after 19 months of bargaining, according to health system and union statements.

SEIU Healthcare 1199NW delivered a strike notice May 21 to management at Logan Health, which was renamed from Kalispell Regional Healthcare earlier this month.  

The nurses seek increased staffing, as well as reinstatement of the charge nurse on every unit, a nurse staffing committee, and improvements to wages and benefits to recruit and retain nurses. A strike could still be averted if both sides reach an agreement.

"A strike is the last thing we want to do, but Logan Health has been unwilling to listen to our voices," Donna Nelson, a registered nurse in behavioral health, said in a news release. "We're here for our patients, and that means taking action to hold Logan Health administration accountable to patient needs and to bargaining in good faith." 

Logan Health expressed disappointment about the strike notice and said less than half of nurses in the bargaining unit voted to strike, suggesting that all 650 nurses would not support a walkout. 

"If in fact SEIU does force a strike and encourages abandonment of patients, we are prepared to continue operations and we have commitments from more than enough nurses who are willing to step in and care for them," the health system wrote in a statement. "Abandonment of patients is against our core values and we want to assure the community that we are here to care for them."

The nurses work at Logan Health in the clinics, hospital, long-term care facility, behavioral health, and home care and hospice. They unionized in July 2019.

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