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Kalispell Nurses Begin Three-Day Strike Over Wages And Benefits

An ambulance in front of Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
Eric Whitney
Montana Public Radio
An ambulance in front of Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

Nurses at Logan Health in Kalispell are on strike. Nurse union organizers say hospital officials were unwilling to compromise over pay and benefit negotiations, claims which hospital leaders deny.

The three-day strike started June 1. The union organizing the strike amid negotiations with Logan Health represents around 650 nurses. 

Mariah Connolly, an endoscopy nurse, says they want livable wages and better working conditions. She says they need the hospital’s support to be a voice for their patients and to provide the best care they can.

“A contract would help us have the power to work with the hospital to be that voice.”

In a letter to the union provided to MTPR by hospital officials, Logan Health President Craig Lambrecht says the hospital is willing to negotiate and has moved toward a compromise with the group in bargaining sessions.

Logan Health Spokesperson Chris Leopold says the hospital is ready to care for patients during the strike. He says that roughly 250 nurses have committed to working through it, and former employees have offered to work.

“We’re very thankful for those … who have committed to their community here, and their patients and their fellow caregivers,” Leopold says.

Union officials say a supermajority of the group voted to authorize the strike last month.

Freddy Monares was a reporter and Morning Edition host at Montana Public Radio.
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