Nurses’ union asks UIHC for more pay to aid recruitment, retention efforts

seiuThe union representing 3,000 nurses and other healthcare professionals at the University of Iowa is calling for a 6 percent pay hike in an effort to address staffing shortages throughout the UI Health Care system.

“What we’re hoping to get is retention,” said Lynnette Halstead, an emergency room nurse and president of the UIHC chapter of Service Employees International Union Local 199. “We want the people who are here, doing the job, to stay here. We have trouble bringing in new nurses. We have trouble keeping the nurses that are here. So that’s the contract we are proposing: Raise those wages for the nurses and the other health care professionals that are here.”

The increase in wages was included Tuesday as part of the union’s initial proposal for a new two-year contract with UI Health Care and the Iowa Board of Regents. The current contract expires June 30, 2017.

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