UPHS-Marquette nurses begin 2-day strike

Nurses at Upper Peninsula Health System-Marquette (Mich.) began to strike Thursday after the latest negotiations between the hospital and the Michigan Nurses Association proved unsuccessful, according to a WLUC report.

The two sides have met multiple times since the MNA announced plans for the two-day strike in September. However, they were not able to reach a deal following the most recent negotiation session Wednesday, according to the report.

"Nurses are on strike at UPHS Marquette because, for months, [the hospital's owner, Brentwood, Tenn.-based] Duke LifePoint [Healthcare], has chosen not to take our patient safety concerns seriously at the bargaining table. We are hoping that our strike lets them know that we mean business, and that they will come back to the table and do the right thing for our nurses, our patients, and the Marquette community by guaranteeing safe staffing," said Scott Balko, RN and president of the UPHS-Marquette RN Staff Council/Michigan Nurses Association, via email.

As the strike is underway, UPHS-Marquette is continuing operations as usual and said via email it "remain[s] focused on ensuring that there is no interruption in this care and service to our community."

UPHS-Marquette also expressed gratitude for the support of employees, physicians, striking nurses and the hospital's temporary nursing staff, saying, "They are instrumental in our ability to continue providing exceptional care to our community and ensuring that all hospital services remain open and accessible."

Duke LifePoint echoed these sentiments in an emailed statement.

"Duke LifePoint is confident that UPHS – Marquette is fully prepared to handle this strike and ensure that its community continues to have access to the quality care they deserve and expect. We commend the hospital for diligently preparing and keeping the continuity of quality care as their focus."   





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