Nurses strike enters 5th week with no end in sight

  1. A strike by union nurses at St. John's Mercy Medical Center entered its fifth week on Wednesday with the two sides deadlocked and no negotiations scheduled.

    The hospital had predicted that many striking nurses would return to work this week in the wake of limited progress at a lengthy bargaining session Friday.

    "It hasn't happened," said Dave Politte, director of collective bargaining for the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 655. The Professional Division of Local 655 represents the nurses.

    Hospital spokesman Bill McShane said that from seven to 20 nurses a day have returnedto work each day since the strike began.

    Politte said, "Those numbers are way high."

    Striker Sue Worstenholm said the nurses are resolved to stay out until they win a contract. "We feel we can give better care if we can have a bigger say in nurse-to-patient ratios," she said.

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