Nurses Weigh In Against SEIU Strike in Kalispell
There's two stories taking place with the hospital in Kalispell this week. The first big story is the fact that nurses affiliated with the SEIU union are in the middle of a three day strike. The other big story is that several nurses do not support the SEIU and have now filed a petition to break ties with the labor union.
We spoke with Sheila Stencil and Todd Bernhardt from Nurses and Community Unite (NACU). Stencil is a nurse with Logan Health, formerly known as Kalispell Regional Hospital. She tells us that she and other nurses are picking up extra shifts and working longer days to ensure that patients continue to receive the care that they need in the middle of the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) strike.
Stencil told us that she also supports better pay and benefits for Logan Health nurses, but that a strike wasn't necessary at this time:
Sheila Stencil: The nurses, we want the same thing the pro union nurses want...we want to provide a better life for our families, we want to take care of our patients, we want to take care of our community- that's why we became nurses. However, now it's become about us versus them. SEIU has kind of fostered an adversarial relationship.
Stencil and Bernhardt also tell us that an electronic petition amongst Logan Health nurses has now met the threshold in order to conduct a decertification of the union, and a petition has now been filed to move forward. The Daily Inter Lake added:
According to the National Labor Relations Board, when a decertification election petition is filed, agents investigate to make sure the board has jurisdiction and there are no existing labor contracts that would bar a decertification vote. Agents then seek an agreement between the employer, the union and other parties setting the date for the decertification election. The labor board would be tasked with conducting the vote that would be decided by a majority of votes cast.
Check out our podcast below for the full conversation with Sheila Stencil and Todd Bernhardt.
Here's the KPAX-TV coverage of the SEIU strike in Kalispell:
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