SLU Hospital nurses plan two-day strike in late-December

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ST. LOUIS – A group of SLU Hospital nurses is planning a two-day strike later this month. Organizers say the strike comes in protest of “union-busting” practices and outsourcing of RN jobs.

Nurses gave their employer (SSM Health Saint Louis University Hospital) notice Friday that they would plan a 48-hour strike. It’s currently scheduled outside the hospital from 7 a.m. on Dec. 27 to 6:59 a.m. on Dec. 29.

It’s the second strike involving SLU hospital nurses in recent months, the last coming in late-September over concerns with staffing and patient safety.

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According to a news release from National Nurses United, the strike comes in opposition to “management’s persistent union-busting and outsourcing of RN jobs.”

“Management has refused to seriously consider or compromise on our proposals regarding SSM’s outsourcing of nurse jobs,” said Jessica Tulk, RN in the emergency department via the news release. “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, 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.”

The news release further states that the strike was announced with a 10-day notice to allow the hospital to arrange “alternative plans” for patient care. 

SLU Hospital nurses have reportedly been in negotiations for a new contract with SSM since May 2023.

Regarding the planned strike, the St. Louis Board of Aldermen voted in favor of a resolution earlier this year that supports the union nurses and “urges SSM to negotiate in good faith” over contracts.


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