UW Health nurses once had a “strong union and strong contract,” according to a press release from Heck and Lemmer, but that changed after Wisconsin’s Law 10. Former Republican Governor Scott Walker’s plan effectively ended collective bargaining for most public sector unions. According to UW Health, there was no legal capacity to negotiate a new contract when the existing contract ended in 2014.
A majority of nurses have expressed a desire to unionize in 2019. In response to this effort, the University of Wisconsin (UWHCA) Hospitals and Clinics Board of Directors issued a statement acknowledging “that there is a possibility of improving two-way communication between UWHCA employees and management. “
“The Board believes that it is in the best interests of UWHCA, its patients and employees that UWHCA management continue to work directly with employees to understand their concerns and work together. looking for solutions, “the statement read.
In an email Wednesday, UW Health spokesperson Emily Kumlien said “Regardless of union status, UW Health leaders and our nurses work together directly and collaboratively to ensure that we meet the needs of our patients “.
According to UW Health, the hospital worked with nurses to identify challenges and their needs, including flexibility in schedules. Additionally, the hospital said staff-to-patient ratios rank among the top 20% of peer organizations – meaning there are more nurses per patient – 300 nursing positions have been added to the course. over the past two years and the turnover rate at UW Health was 11%. and below the national turnover rate of 17%.