Logan Health nurses strike continues for second day

A labor strike involving hundreds of Logan Health nurses lasted a second day on Wednesday.

The strike began with the sisters’ shift change on Tuesday at 7 a.m. Many of the nurses on strike spent Tuesday and Wednesday carrying signs and waving to traffic on US 93 just outside Logan Health Medical Center, formerly Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

The nurses have been negotiating a contract since they unionized as SEIU Healthcare 1199NW in July 2019, calling for staff increases, the reinstatement of a nurse in charge on each unit, a nurse staff committee, and improvements in wages, benefits and retention.

“We don’t want to strike, but we will do what we have to for our patients,” said Donna Nelson, a registered behavioral medicine nurse, in a statement. “We cannot remain silent while our sensible contract proposals are ignored and Logan Health management tries to break our union.”

Hospital officials said more than 150 nurses offered to work during the strike, with former employees, doctors and nurses volunteering to help with care if needed.

In an email on Wednesday, Logan Health spokesman Chris Leopold said the hospital is “fully staffed and fully operational and patients are receiving normal and adequate care.” He added, “We would like to thank our wonderful and dedicated teams across the system who have helped ensure patient care remains uninterrupted.”

After a community rally in Kalispell’s Depot Park scheduled for 6pm on Thursday, the nurses union plans to return to work at 7am on Friday.

Assistant Editor Chad Sokol can be reached at 406-758-4439 or csokol@dailyinterlake.com.

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