For Immediate Release: Media Advisory
Wednesday, September 27, 2023
Contact: Robin Haux, MNA Labor Program Director (firstname.lastname@example.org / 406-431-5934)
Thai Nguyen, MNA Labor Organizer (email@example.com / 406-465-4249)
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Registered Nurses at St. Peters Health Clinics, Helena, MT, file for NLRB election
On September 1, 2023, the Registered Nurses (RNs) at St. Peter’s Medical Group (Helena, MT), both the Broadway Clinic and the North Clinic, filed to hold an election to vote to join the current professional nurses’ union at St. Peter’s Health, the Montana Nurses Association (MNA) Local #13.
Since filing, executives at St. Peter’s Health started pursuing an anti-union campaign against these nurses, including hiring an out of state, anti-union consultant from Florida to prevent these 70 nurses from having a collective voice in their workplace. St. Peter’s Health recently cut personal leave benefits from all their employees claiming they needed to make cuts as “the current environment requires us to examine our investment more carefully and reduce certain expenses” (Wade Johnson, GACHE, Chief Executive Officer, St Peters Health; April 10, 2023).
A Registered Nurse who has worked at SPH for 12 years, Andrea Thies RN, BSN, OCN, CRNI, says “Joining our Local #13 professional nurses’ union provides us the ability to protect our benefits, working conditions, and gives us a collaborative voice in our workplace. All nurses who work at St. Peter’s Hospital should have access to the same benefits and opportunities. Doing this will bring us closer to providing our patients with the Gold Standard care that they deserve. We are looking forward to future collaboration and negotiations with SPH administration on this mutual goal.”
“I am proud to be among the clinic nurses standing up for what’s right- having our collective voices heard, improving patient care, and getting fair wages and benefits. As we work on the front lines serving Helena and surrounding communities, we are asking for fair representation and a seat at the table. We look forward to our election knowing that this is a step towards a more just workplace for all of us” says Hannah Sieracki RN, CCRN, who has been with SPH for 3 ½ years and was one of our communities front-line Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Registered Nurses during COVID-19.
On September 19, 2023, the parties agreed to an election agreement and the following joint statement:
“St. Peter’s Health and MNA have agreed that the singular issue of the election is whether the clinic RNs will be part of the “bargaining unit” MNA represents at St. Peter’s Regional Medical Center, thus determining if MNA will be their exclusive bargaining representative. There is no guarantee that any or all items in the current CBA will apply. Instead, if MNA is selected as the bargaining representative the clinic RNs would then be provided the opportunity to negotiate. Subjects of bargaining like wages, benefits, schedules, seniority will be negotiated independent of the existing acute RN contract.”
St. Peters Health Clinic RNs understand they will need to bargain the effects of joining the Local #13 bargaining unit.
Their Armor-Globe election is scheduled for October 17, 2023.
The professional nurses of Local #13, and MNA, believe collective bargaining is the strongest tool to protect patient care and patient safety, moreover, giving nurses a voice to speak out collectively and advocate on behalf of themselves, their patients, and their community.
MNA is the recognized leader and advocate for the professional nurse in Montana, representing over 3,000 nurses. MNA promotes professional nursing practice, standards, and education; represents professional nurses; and provides nursing leadership in promoting high quality healthcare.
St. Peters Health is a nonprofit health care system located in Helena, MT. Their services include a 99-bed acute care hospital, physician clinics, cancer treatment center, 24-hour behavioral health unit, urgent care clinics, home health and hospice care, dialysis center and ambulance services. They provide services to an estimated 97,000 residents in a five-county area.