Posted: Feb 14, 2013 9:33 AM by Judy Slate
Updated: Feb 14, 2013 9:36 AM
BOZEMAN - Nurses at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital plan to hit the street next week, unhappy with the way contract negotiations are going.
Currently, 240 nurses are working under an expired union contract at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital. The nurses plan to picket next week.
"We want out voice to be heard. We're feeling unheard," James Fredrickson, a Bozeman Deaconess Hospital nurse and union representative.
Fredrickson is part of a group of union members who have been negotiating a new contract with the hospital since September.
"There are sticking points. We actually have three fairly important points," Fredrickson said.
They are asking for benefits for part time nurses that, according to the nurses union, the hospital wants to take away.
The second point is inequities on the pay scale. The union says sometimes new hires with the same experience and education as current employees are paid more.
The third thing the union wants addressed is bullying.
'There are workplace practices at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital that we feel are disrespectful to nurses and compromise patient care," nurse and union representative Barbara Johnson said.
The union wants language added to the contract to protect nurses from this kind of treatment.
"We want Bozeman Deaconess Hospital to be a place where nurses want to work," Johnson said.
KBZK contact the hospital and received a written response to the nurses' plan to picket.
"We are in the process of negotiating and are committed to reaching a resolution in the near future," hospital communications manager Connie Martin said in the written response.
"We really want to speak to the board and the community and be heard. These are really important things to these nurses," Fredrickson said.
The nurses plan to picket on Highland Boulevard on Tuesday.