Union nurses are holding a one day strike at hospitals in Wichita and in Texas on Wednesday as they continue negotiations on a new contract.
The strike is planned for Ascension Via Christi St. Francis and Ascension Via Christi St. Joseph hospitals in Wichita, along with Ascension Seaton Medical Center Austin in Texas. The union says it’s protesting unsafe conditions with equipment and staffing that it says management has failed to remedy. This is the second one-day strike that the union has carried out. The previous strike was in June.
Ascension officials released a statement saying, “We are disappointed National Nurses United has made the decision to proceed with a strike, once again creating unnecessary uncertainty for our associates and their families, and concern for our patients and their loved ones. Patient safety is our top priority and our Ascension Via Christi hospitals are well-prepared to remain open and care for our patients during this short-term strike. We have a comprehensive contingency plan in place to ensure there is no disruption in care or service for those we are privileged to serve.”
The contingency plan calls for striking nurses not to return to work for four days instead of just one. Ascension Via Christi says the contract for replacement nurses is for a minimum of four days of work.
The union has scheduled a back-to-work rally on Thursday and a back-to-work delegation for Sunday at the Wichita hospitals.
[ photo: National Nurses United – Facebook ]