SEIU Healthcare Wisconsin: Nurses call on UW Health to immediately recognize their union after attorney general releases formal legal opinion

Madison, Wis.- Today Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul issued a formal legal opinion declaring that UW Health can recognize the nurses’ union. The AG’s press release can be read here. The following is a statement from members of the UW Health Nurse Union Organizing Committee. Nurses are available for interviews upon request:

“The Attorney General is the top lawyer and law enforcement officer in the state, he is the highest legal authority, and after a thorough review of the law, he has definitively concluded that UW Health can recognize our union. UW Health must recognize our union immediately in order to solve the spiraling crisis in our facilities, which includes dangerous understaffing and turnover that put patient care at risk. The strong majority of nurses have been calling for a union for over two and a half years. This entire time, UW Health’s central objection was the false assertion that they were legally prevented from recognizing us. The AG’s opinion couldn’t be clearer: ‘I conclude that it is within the [UW Hospitals and Clinics] Authority’s statutory power to voluntarily engage in collective bargaining.’ He has declared that no law whatsoever prohibits union recognition, completely dismantling UW Health’s bogus legal arguments and removing any excuses once and for all. UW Health Board members and the administration now face an urgent moral decision. Nurses are done waiting and we are determined to do whatever it takes to win our union. It is critical that UW Health recognizes our union now so we can advocate for our patients, our community, our families and ourselves and ensure safe, quality care for Wisconsin.”  

Tami Burns, RNBriana Chaves, RNMariah Clark, RNAlex Dudek, RNJustin Giebel, RNMary Jorgensen, RNAmanda Klinge, RNAnna Landry, RNMonica Livingston, RNJen McClure, RNClarissa Rueckert, RNZach Sielaff, RNShari Signer, RNJill Starkweather, RNIan Todaro, RNKate Walton, RNAmelia Zepnick, RN