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Show of Solidarity for Nurses at MercyOne in Sioux City

OCTOBER 16, 2019
Siouxland Public Media

A candlelight vigil took place Wednesday night for nurses at MercyOne who are in the middle of a contract dispute with the hospital.  

Supporters fill the parking lot of the Sugar Shack Bakery located near MercyOne Hospital.

There’s a bit of dancing.

And, speeches by local politicians, including State Senator Jackie Smith.

“This is Sioux City, we have your backs.”

Here’s City Council Member Rhonda Capron.

“If you treat your employees right they going to bring it back to you and treat you right and that’s how it works.”

Nurses at MercyOne work without a finalized contract.  The union contract expired September 1st and after months of negotiating, still no agreement.

We are at a little bit of a stand still.  “We got the last, best and final from the hospital.”  

Credit Siouxland Public Media

That’s Jennifer Vondrak, an RN in the OB Department at MercyOne.  She’s part of the contract bargaining team.

“The reason this is concerning, because we still have information requests out to the hospital.  The hospital was saying they didn’t have the financial situation to compensate the nurses properly.  So, we put out a information request to open up the books to see what financial situation they are in so we can come to a fair contract for everyone.”

The nurses say they don’t plan to strike but want a way to protect their patients and their livelihoods.

“Take a stand with us as our fight on safe staffing ratios, innovative equipment, adequate support staff and competitive wages continues.”

A show of solidarity for members of the MercyOne medical community.

MercyOne issued a statement last night to Siouxland Public Media News.  It says, “MercyOne Siouxland Medical Center values our longstanding partnership with our nurses. We look forward to finalizing what we believe to be a fair and equitable agreement, as well as continuing to provide top quality, compassionate care to our patients, families and communities.  Out of respect for this process and our nursing colleagues, we have no additional comment at this time.”