Nurses picket St. Luke’s hospitalNurses and their supporters conducted an informational picket in front of St. Luke’s hospital Tuesday afternoon.
By: Steve Kuchera, Duluth News Tribune
Nurses and their supporters conduct an informational picket in front of St. Luke’s hospital Tuesday afternoon. Organizers said more than 500 people would march sometime during the picket, to draw attention to ongoing contract talks and the stumbling block of staffing levels. The two sides have had eight bargaining sessions, and two more are planned for Friday and Tuesday.
Event organizer Dan Engelhart said that on Aug. 18 members of the nurses’ union will vote on either on a tentative contract or on a strike authorization. If a strike authorization vote is held, there would have to be at least a 10-day waiting period before a strike could begin.
“The hospital seems pretty dug in,” Engelhart said.
In a news release, St. Luke’s officials said: “We continue to bargain in good faith and hope to agree on a contract at the negotiating table with our local leaders, not one driven by a national union agenda. These negotiations must consider St. Luke’s unique patient population, our multidisciplinary care team approach and the realities of health care in Duluth.”