Saint Louis University Hospital nurses to strike for patient safety

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St. Louis nurses to strike for two days to protest management’s outsourcing of RN jobs

REGISTERED NURSES at SSM Health St. Louis University Hospital launched a 24-hour strike on Sept. 25 to protest hospital management’s refusal to address RNs’ concerns about patient care, safe staffing and workplace violence. With no progress in negotiations, nurses have voted to authorize a second strike. – Labor Tribune file photo

By TIM ROWDEN
Editor-in-Chief

St. Louis – Registered nurses at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital in St. Louis, Mo., gave notice Dec. 15 that they will hold a strike for 48 hours starting Wednesday Dec. 27, at 7 a.m., at SLU Hospital, at 1201 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, Mo., due to management’s persistent union-busting and outsourcing of RN jobs, announced National Nurses Organizing Committee/National Nurses United (NNOC/NNU). Rally at 9 a.m. Wednesday. The strike will conclude Friday, Dec. 29, at 6:59 a.m.

The 10 days’ notice of the nurses strike follows a strike authorization vote on Dec. 8 to authorize the nurse bargaining team to call a strike, if management failed to resolve key RN issues in contract negotiations. Nurses always give at least 10 days of advance notice to the hospital to allow for alternative plans to be made for patient care.

“Management has refused to seriously consider or compromise on our proposals regarding SSM’s outsourcing of nurse jobs,” said Jessica Tulk, an RN in the emergency department. “We need to hire full-time union staff nurses who are invested in the community and our patients.”

“We have a staffing crisis, but a revolving door of outsourced nurses is not the solution,” said Earline Shepard, an RN in the cardiac catheterization lab at SLUH. “We are taking time away from our patients to assist temporary agency nurses. Staff nurses can give our patients the continuity of care they need in their medical treatment.”

SLU Hospital nurses have been in negotiations since May 2023 for a new contract with little to no movement on key issues. Their contract expired on June 15, 2023. The RNs held an informational picket about the issues on July 19 and a one-day strike on September 25. The nurses urge management to invest in nursing staff and agree to a contract that addresses nurse retention and stops the overutilization of external agency nurses.

National Nurses Organizing Committee has represented the nurses at SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital since 2012.


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