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UW nurses continue fight for union rights

MADISON (WKOW) -- Madison community leaders gathered Thursday to show their support for the UW Health Nurse's Union.

Supporters claim UW Hospitals & Clinics isn't addressing nurses' concerns about patient care and staff burnout. The group says it would like the hospital board to recognize the union.

"We know that when you have a seat at the table, our nurses are going to be better able to advocate for themselves and beyond that, for their patients," said Rep. Melissa Sargent (D-Madison).

The group went to a UW Hospital board meeting to give testimony in support of the union. The hospital board tells 27 News it cannot bargain with the union because of Act 10, but it will work directly with employees to understand their concerns.

Read the full statement below.

STATEMENT OF THE UWHCA BOARD OF DIRECTORS ON NURSING AND WORKFORCE

The Board believes that it is in the best interests of UWHCA, its patients and employees, for UWHCA management to continue to work directly with employees to understand their concerns and to work together towards solutions.

The Board agrees with management that there is opportunity for improvement in two-way communication between UWHCA employees and management, including Shared Governance for nurses. The Board acknowledges the work that UWHCA management has done to date to actively engage with its nurses and other employees to address concerns. The Board expects UWHCA management to continue and to strengthen that work. Specifically, it expects management to develop and implement a plan in collaboration with nurses and all other clinical and non-clinical staff to have a strong voice in issues that impact them.

In addition to improving two-way communication, the Board expects management to actively engage in better understanding and addressing other issues important to sustaining a best place to work environment. The Board expects management to expand the scope of addressing these issues beyond Nursing, to include all clinical and non-clinical staff.

The Board expects management to report back to the Board at regular intervals regarding these and any other important workforce issues.

The Board recognizes management’s role and affirms its broad delegation to management to determine the terms and conditions of employment of UWHCA employees.

The Board will appoint a governance committee on staffing issues to consult with management.

The Board will schedule special meetings to hear further from UWHCA nurses.

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