Nurses picket for staffing and wage increases

Posted at 2:30 PM, Aug 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-24 08:11:12-04

Continued under staffing at Sisters of Charity Hospital, St. Joseph Campus has nurses picketing Tuesday.

Communications Workers of America (CWA) is conducting the information picket at 3:30 p.m.

"We've addressed staffing issues within our facilities and in our negotiations with the CWA, so this latest campaign appears to be yet another attempt to gain leverage at the bargaining table," said JoAnn Cavanaugh, director of Public Relations for Catholic Health.

The hospital wants a series of progressive step pay increases, annual wage increases, and improvements in pension funding and staffing, including a comprehensive staffing agreement.

Bargaining is expected to continue throughout the month. The hospital is hopeful it can reach a tentative agreement soon.

At Mercy Hospital alone, close to 75 new nurses have been hired recently to help with an increase in patients. Active recruitment efforts to hire additional nursing staff are underway at Mercy and across the system.

Healthcare staffing is an issue that affects every hospital. Factors that impact hospital staffing include unexpected fluctuations in patient volume, changes in healthcare delivery, area shortages of qualified candidates in certain nursing and clinical specialties, and unscheduled staffing absences.

No services at St. Joseph Campus will be affected by the picket.

Regular updates on negotiations can be found on the Catholic Health website.