Nurses reach bargaining agreement with Duke LifePoint


Kelsii Kyto

After over a year of negotiations with Duke LifePoint, Marquette nurses have come to a
consensus on the principles of
a bargaining agreement after
holding discussion late through
the night and into the morning
of May 25.

The new agreement includes
significant wage increases and
fair benefits, which will bring in
and keep nurses at the hospital,
Scott Balko, operating room
registered nurse and president
of the UPHS Marquette staff
council/Marquette Nurses Association said in a press release.

“This is a win for our entire
U.P. community, and we could
not have come this far without
strong community support,” he
said. “I want to thank all of our
friends, family members and
neighbors who continue to support us.”

In April, Marquette nurses
voted in favor of a second strike
over the course of two days due
to alleged unsafe staffing levels,
and bargaining meetings were
scheduled for late May.

“After a long negotiation process, we are hopeful that Duke
LifePoint recognizes this contract as an opportunity to work
with their nursing staff on continued improvements,” Balko
said. “Nurses will continue to be
advocates to ensure the highest
quality care for our patients, and
we see the contract as a step in
the right direction.”

Quality health insurance
means that people on “the frontlines of patient care” can care
for themselves and their families
without worry, Balko said.

Victor Harrington, regional director of marketing
and business development for
U.P. Health System, said that
the positive outcome provides
“great momentum” as the staff
prepares to move into their new
facility and continues providing
high quality care and service to
their patients.

“We thank the community
for its patience as we worked
through this important process,
and are eager to move forward
making our community healthier together,” Harrington said.