UPDATE: UPHS releases statement regarding nurses strike

UPDATE — Friday, September 22, 2017 5:00 p.m. ET

Duke Lifepoint has released the following statement regarding the planned nurses strike on October 5th and 6th:

“This afternoon UPHS – Marquette received notice that the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) plans to commence a strike at our hospital on Thursday, Oct. 5 at 7:00 a.m., concluding on Saturday, Oct. 7 at 6:59 a.m.

Prior to these dates, we have four meetings scheduled for negotiations with the MNA. We will continue to bargain in good faith; however, should it occur, we are fully prepared to handle a strike and ensure there is no interruption in care for our patients and community members.

We are securing fully-qualified staff to replace those who go on strike and are attending to every detail in preparation for this event. As always, delivering quality care and services to our patients will remain our primary focus, and we will not allow anything to stand in the way of providing the best for our community.”

MARQUETTE —- Nurses at UP Health System – Marquette have notified Hospital officials of their intent to strike for two days, October 5th and 6th.

“We have said all along that striking is an extremely serious decision for nurses. We want to be at the bedside caring for our patients. Duke LifePoint has made it all but impossible to provide the care that the Marquette community deserves,” said Scott Balko, an Operating Room RN and President of the UPHS Marquette RN Staff Council/MNA. “We still have four bargaining dates and mediation scheduled before our strike. Now is the time for Duke LifePoint to do the right thing for patients – guarantee safe RN staffing levels and a hospital environment that will attract and retain nurses for years to come.”

Negotiations for a new contract between the two have been ongoing since April.

Stay with ABC 10 for the latest on this developing story.