Mediation goes late with nurses union at St. Luke’sA federal mediation session between St. Luke’s hospital and the union representing its nurses continued long into Tuesday night.
A federal mediation session between St. Luke’s hospital and the union representing its nurses continued long into Tuesday night.
Nurses at St. Luke’s and SMDC Health System voted overwhelming Aug. 18 to reject contract offers and authorize a one-day strike, although a strike has not yet been scheduled.
A mediation session on Aug. 25 with SMDC didn’t result in a settlement.
One issue in talks at St. Luke’s is a proposed code of conduct that nurses say could be used to silence or intimidate employees.
The code bans inappropriate behavior, such as profanity or sexual advances. It also prohibits overt behaviors, such as verbal outbursts or “quietly exhibiting uncooperative attitudes during routine activities.” Examples include a condescending voice or impatience with reasonable questions.
Nurses bargaining unit chairwoman Cindy Prout said if a nurse were strongly advocating for a patient, it could be interpreted in the wrong manner and the employee would be subject to discipline.
St. Luke’s spokeswoman Mary Greene said there was nothing to report from the talks as of 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Talks began at 1 p.m.
The nurses belong to the Minnesota Nurses Association, which represents 958 registered nurses at SMDC and 420 at St. Luke’s.