Letter to editor

Regarding IRMC’s expressed disappointment in our union’s informational outreach to the community:

The Indiana Registered Nurses Association has tried engaging in meaningful dialogue with IRMC upper management since 2018.

How did IRMC participate in that dialogue?

They slapped down an unfair offer in 2019 that cut our benefits, forcing us to pay more out of pocket for our health care that their 2 percent wage increase doesn’t cover.

We now have less paid time off, fewer benefits, and we are doing more work with fewer nurses.

IRMC can do better for its nurses, yet time after time they choose not to.

Even during a pandemic, they furloughed experienced nurses.

There are not enough nurses to begin with; we’ve lost more than 80 nurses over the last two years. Our nurses are regularly working well beyond their scheduled shifts.

We’ve dealt with short staffing in the past, but never at this level.

We warned IRMC in 2018 that in order to recruit and retain talented nurses, they need to make this a desirable place to work. But refusing to reach a fair contract with us and cutting our benefits does just the opposite.

In the July 16 article, IRMC said its nurses make $32 an hour. Yet they’re paying agency nurses $60-$70 per hour, and $100 per hour overtime. How is that fair?

I’ve worked at IRMC for 20 years and conditions have never been worse. We are overworked. We are underappreciated by the CEO and by IRMC’s negotiating team.

Nurses deserve respect, our patients deserve safe staffing levels. It’s time for a fair contract.

Karen Blystone

Penn Run