Lourdes Nurses Picket

Kristi Paulus, KVEW, July 28, 2011 Nurses at Lourdes Medical Center in Pasco hit the picket line today, after working without a contract for nine months. The nurses and technicians say Lourdes management is cutting back on their benefits by reducing long term sick pay if they or a family member should become ill.
 And, they say the hospital's proposed pay raise is not competitive with other area hospitals. "They don't want to give us a raise in the first year, 1% in the second, 1% in the third and nothing in the fourth which puts us 9% behind the rest of the Tri-Cities, it's not competitive," says nurse Karen Collins. However, the hospital CEO, John Serle, says the hospitals pay and benefits are fair and competitive.
 "On the nurses side, we pay very competitively.  I don't think we're ahead of the market, but I don't think we're lagging the market significantly or anything like that."
 The nurses say they don't plan to strike, as their expired contract has a "no strike" clause.