Strand says SMDC nurses already dealing with staffing shortages need some kind of protection in their contract when it comes to caring and advocating for patients.
"As nurses, we live this every day," he says. "We know better than anyone when it is or isn't safe on our unit. As the people directly responsible for your well-being when you come into our hospital, we want to make sure you get the safest care possible. Doesn't that seem like a rational, reasonable thing to ask of the executives who employ us and expect us to guarantee your safety as our patients? Why can't they see that they will be patients too?"
St. Luke's RN Cindy Prout says executives there have left nurses with no option other than recommending the vote to authorize a one-day strike.
"If you listen to the stories coming out of the hospital, you know that we don't have any other choice," she said. "Our first contract is with the public—to care for them, keep them safe and advocate for them."