Madison, Wisconsin Nurses at Meriter Hospital Reject Final Proposal by a 90% Vote

Due to time constraints this morning I can’t delve into this story before hitting the ‘publish’ key, but I wanted to share this press release with you and express that nurses stand at the front lines of our crumbling healthcare system. They are key to keeping us alive when we enter hospitals and their staffing has been stretched everywhere for years. I support their fight to maintain a well-compensated, safe, and healthy labor force.

Contact for further information:
Christine Lamitina
SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin Communications
Office: 414-455-3840

Meriter RNs Reject Management’s Final Proposal
RNs Stand Strong for Patient Care at Meriter Hospital

MADISON, WI: Yesterday, Meriter RNs voted to reject by 90% of the vote, Meriter Hospital’s final bargaining proposal which could decrease the quality of care patients receive.

SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin represents 720 RNs at Meriter Hospital who are standing strong at the bargaining table. As nurses, they want to ensure that they can provide the highest quality of care for every current and future patient. In the proposals put forth by Meriter, Meriter will want more “flexibility” with their staffing such as being able to ‘float’ nurses to different, unfamiliar floors and not providing nurses with an adequate voice in staffing based on complex patient healthcare needs.

Other proposals included:

· Cut Health Insurance by nearly doubling the employee contribution while increasing co-pays, deductibles, and out of pocket maximum. Nurses are exposed to every illness imaginable and to the harshest of chemicals for infection control. Nurses who care for others deserve quality and affordable healthcare for themselves.
· Institute a 14 day waiting period for short-term medical disability (STMD) compensation. This is a problem with our aging nurse population which due to the stress and strain of moving patients and being on their feet for 8+ hour shifts, many nurses experience joint surgeries, back surgeries, rotator cuff surgeries, etc. For our junior nurses, nurses would have to use their whole allotment of paid time off before STMD kicks in for pregnancies and other short-term issues. Paid time off is necessary as nurses work overtime and are on-call for emergencies and other spikes in patient care needs.

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