MercyOne Iowa nurses threaten strike

Nurses at MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center in Sioux City, Iowa, have authorized their bargaining committee to call a strike and rejected MercyOne's most recent contract offer, according to the Sioux City Journal.

The decision affects members of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 222. It does not mean a strike will take place. The union, which represents more than 300 MercyOne nurses, still must give the hospital at least a 10-day notice before walking out.

"MercyOne nurses have earned and deserve a contract that addresses the understaffing crisis, provides competitive wages and benefits, strengthens workplace safety and invests in the skilled care they provide every day," Local 222 said in a news release.  

"Today’s votes send a clear message that MercyOne nurses are unified in protesting MercyOne’s unfair labor practices and standing together to ensure they receive the terms and conditions they have earned and deserve," the union added.

The hospital expressed disappointment in the strike authorization vote.

"This is unfortunate given our hope to work together to overcome differences identified during negotiations," said a letter to nurses cited by the Journal

The union and hospital management have been in negotiations for more than six months.

MercyOne said it has prepared for a strike by contracting with a nurse staffing agency to replace union nurses with temporary workers. The contract is for at least three days.

 

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