Deadline approaches for St. John's nurses to withdraw from union

  1. Nurses at St. John's Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur have until 4 p.m. Friday to withdraw from United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655.

    A provision of the contract approved Jan. 21 gives nurses a 30-day window to withdraw. The contract weakened the union by allowing nurses to opt out of membership annually without a requirement that they pay an ongoing bargaining-agent fee to the union. The union will continue to bargain on behalf of all non-management registered nurses at St. John's.

    Gary Torpea, the union's representative on the St. John's contract, estimated that 300 to 400 of the 1,700 nurses in the bargaining unit had withdrawn as of Wednesday. He said the union will continue to act as bargaining agent, despite the decline in financial support. "We are a not-for-profit organization," he said. "We are there to support the RNs."

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