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Montana Nurses Association files charges against Kalispell hospital

Kalispell Regional Healthcare

The Montana Nurses Association is suing Kalispell Regional Healthcare, saying the hospital violated federal rights regarding layoffs for more than 100 nurses.

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The following is a press release from the Montana Nurses Association:

The Montana Nurses Association (MNA) filed charges today against Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) for violating federal rights pertaining to KRH’s recent announcement of layoffs for more than one hundred Charge Nurses at KRH.

“When there’s an illegal unilateral change in working conditions, it results in a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) for the purpose of interfering with employee rights to form a nurses union. It appears KRH is trying to sound a warning shot to nurses that they’ll be laid off and not be rehired if they support becoming union,” said Vicky Byrd, RN, MNA Executive Director. “It’s a disappointing move affecting quality care in the community. Running a hospital without Charge Nurses is highly unusual and goes against the grain of those positions providing good high quality patient care.”

Over the past 12 months, MNA has been in constant communication and actively organizing with many KRH nurses interested in forming a nurses union. Their continued goal is, and remains, to create a collective voice in patient care, staffing, and nurse recruitment and retention.

“Nurses are the heart of the healthcare system. There is ample evidence that when the voices of staff nurses are included in decision-making, the quality of patient care improves. That’s what these nurses want, to be heard and respected, and allowed the opportunity to help improve the hospital by having a collective union voice in patient care, staffing, and nurse recruitment and retention,” said Vicky Byrd, RN, the Executive Director of the Montana Nurses Association.

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