Close to 100 nurses from Saint Louis University Hospital and Des Peres Hospital picketed in the cold outside of SLU Hospital on Monday morning, saying they are required to do too much with too little staffing and insufficient equipment.
Marchelle Bettis is an RN on the trauma unit, and works with critical victims of stabbings, shootings and accidents. She says it's hard for her and her coworkers to do their jobs appropriately with the current staffing.
The percentage of Missouri workers who are members of a union dropped to less than 9 percent in 2012, following two years of slight gains.
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report on Monday. It showed that 51,000 fewer Missouri workers were in a union in 2012 than 2011. The state was part of a larger national trend, but that 2 percent drop was among the largest.
Tuesday night the St. Louis County Council passed a new ordinance that in part requires contractors have a U.S. Department of Labor approved apprentice program.
That provision drew criticism from some civil rights groups who said it was unfairly pro-union.
“You know there are any number of minority owned contractors who are not union contractors,” said Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis branch of the NAACP. “We’ve fought this fight a hundred times about this language and how it excludes them simply because they’re not tied to the union.”
The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that not only must public bodies like school boards and cities collectively bargain with their employee unions, but that bargaining must be done in good faith.
The Court issued two rulings Tuesday - one dealing with unionized teachers at a St. Louis charter school, and the other dealing with police officers in University City and Chesterfield who wanted to unionize.