Nurses at Avera Regional Medical Center in Marshall will have an informational picket outside the facility from 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesday to publicize what they say is the need for Avera executives to put patients before profits to address the understaffing and retention issues at the hospital and to prioritize safe and high-quality patient care.
The picket comes as nurses at the facility represented by the Minnesota Nurses Association bargain for a fair new contract with the health system. Said Mary McConnell, an RN at Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center: “We are asking hospital executives to do what needs to be done to attract and retain nurses so we can continue to provide the high-quality care our community expects and deserves. Nurses kept our hospitals running and our patients cared for through the pandemic. Now it is time for hospital management to listen to and value our nurses, and to give us the support we need to continue to provide exceptional patient care at the bedside.”
Avera Marshall Regional Medical Center nurses say understaffing and retention issues can be helped by better wages, health insurance comparable to what other Avera employees receive, and respectful scheduling practices that allow nurses to plan for childcare and to maintain a work and home life balance. Marshall nurses began bargaining when their previous contract expired in September of last year.