MADISON – This past month, nurses at UnityPoint Health-Meriter have been at the bargaining table with management, advocating for a fair contract that would create a more collaborative, safer, and respectful work environment that will improve the lives of nurses and patients. Meriter nurses voted on March 5th to authorize their bargaining committee to do what is necessary to win a fair contract, including authorizing them to issue a strike notice, if absolutely necessary. Today, Senator Agard (D-Madison) called on Unity Point-Meriter to settle a fair contract that meets the needs of nurses in our community. Senator Agard released the following statement:
“Nurses have been here for us throughout the worst pandemic in a century, it’s time for us to be there for them. For too long, nurses have been asked to do more with less, provide care without adequate support or resources, and have not been respected as the professionals and essential workers they are.
“This pandemic has exposed serious inequities in our healthcare system. The fact is, the contract platform the UnityPoint-Meriter nurses have put forward is what we all want in our lives: a safe work environment, fair compensation, and work-life balance.
“It is time for our community to understand nurses’ worth and their importance in all of our lives. Today, I want to say to all the nurses at UnityPoint Meriter that I honor their sacrifice, I understand the value in the work that they do, and I will stand shoulder to shoulder with them throughout these contract negotiations.”