Nurses back to bargaining table after three-day strike in Kalispell

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Hundreds of nurses are back at the bargaining table with the corporate owners of the Kalispell Regional Medical Center after a three-day strike last week ended with no progress on the new contract they’re seeking.

The nurses’ union, SEIU Healthcare 1199Northwest, has been trying to get a new contract for roughly the past 20 months for its 665 members, according to bargaining committee member John Fitch.

“The main sticking points are base wages, premium differentials, staffing and length of contract,” explained Fitch, who is also a charge nurse.

The hospital is owned by Logan Health. The management met with the bargaining committee early on Tuesday.

Chris Leopold, a spokesman for Logan Health, said he can’t comment on the status of the negotiations. The hospital was able to maintain staffing levels during the three-day strike, which started on June 1, he added.

“There were no disruptions to patient care,” he said.

Fitch said the hospital was able to convince mid-level managers, nurses who aren’t members of the union and other people with medical experience to fill in during the strike.

There hasn’t been a decision made yet as to whether the nurses are prepared to walk off the job again to protest the lack of

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