As strike ends, UPHS still using replacement nurses

MARQUETTE — The UPHS — Marquette nurses ended their strike promptly at 6:59 a.m. Saturday. The nurses on schedule to work at 7 a.m. showed up at the door and attempted to enter the hospital, but were unsuccessful.

Following a press conference held at 7:30 a.m. after the nurses were unable to return to work, the nurses sent out this statement:

“Nurses employed by UPHS-Marquette, a Duke LifePoint hospital, concluded a 48-hour strike on Saturday at 7AM. At issue is the hospital’s refusal to guarantee minimum nurse staffing levels at all times to protect patient safety.

‘From the beginning, management has failed to plan for and ensure long-term, consistent RN safe staffing. Patients deserve better,’ said Scott Balko, Operating Room RN and President of the UPHS Marquette RN Staff Council/MNA.

‘We are humbled and energized by all of the community support. Nurses thank everyone who helped on picket line or cheered us on from afar,’ said Chris Sorelle, Emergency Room nurse and member of the bargaining team. ‘We will use that momentum to continue advocating for quality care and a safer nursing practice.’
 
Marquette nurses showed up ready to work at 7AM on Saturday, consistent with their strike notification and with instructions from management to nurses. Yet, Duke LifePoint turned away local nurses in favor of travel nurses.
 
‘Nurses who live here are invested in good patient outcomes because we are caring for our friends and families,’ said Stephanie DePetro, Certified Operating Room nurse and Chief Grievance Steward of the UPHS Marquette RN Staff Council/MNA. ‘Shame on Duke LifePoint for undermining that healing human connection in an attempt to protect their profits.'”

At the press conference, the nurses were encouraged to show up to every shift they are scheduled for unless they receive a call from the hospital not to come into work.

According to a statement released from UPHS last night, the replacement nurses are scheduled to staff the hospital from October 5th through the 9th.