Nurses picket in union contract dispute at Reno hospital

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Registered nurses are doing informational picketing at Saint Mary's Regional Medical Center in Reno as they negotiate a new contract meant to boost working conditions and nurse-to-patient staffing ratios.

The Reno Gazette Journal reports members of the National Nurses United union picketed for about two hours Wednesday.

Longtime Saint Mary's nurse Tamara Erickson says they were prepared to reach an agreement during scheduled contract negotiations on Sept. 4, but the hospital owned by California-based Prime Healthcare threatened to take the nurse staffing provisions off the table.

Saint Mary's spokeswoman Amber Norris says they are committed to bargaining in good faith to reach an agreement in the best interests of the hospital, its employees and those they serve.

Saint Mary's is the second-largest health care provider in the Reno area and the city's oldest continuously operating hospital.

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Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com