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UW Health nurses host town meeting about union effort

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MADISON (WKOW) UW Health nurses are trying to form a union.

Tonight, they were trying to spread the word about the effort.

They hosted a town hall at the Madison Labor Temple.

One registered nurse says staffing issues and concerns for patient safety are symptoms of a larger issue: that nurses don't have a voice in the hospital right now.

"It's very difficult for all of us," said Kate Walton, a registered nurse at UW Hospital. "We feel right now that we are able to keep things going, but at the same time I feel like the wheels are going to fall off any minute because we're all just stretched so thin and so overworked right now."

The U-W Health Board says it can't recognize the union because of Act 10.

Nurses believe the board is ignoring them.

UW Health released a statement tonight saying they've been working with the board on these issues since May.

"We're going to continue building and growing our efforts. Act 10 may prohibit collective bargaining with a union, but it does not block our ability to listen to and work directly with our nurses on how we improve our care and our work environment."

"In the few days since the UWHCA Board meeting, UW Health leaders and staff are attending numerous forums and many smaller meetings, listening directly to our nurses and staff about their ideas and concerns. We care deeply about our nurses and other staff members, and we remain very committed to addressing these tough issues together.”

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