Nurses picket Bozeman Deaconess Hospital

GALLATIN COUNTY

POSTED: 6:30 PM Feb 19 2013   UPDATED: 9:37 PM Feb 19 2013
nurse picket
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

Nurses gathered outside Bozeman Deaconess Tuesday to picket the hospital. They claim they've been treated unfairly by management, and tell us their concerns range from inadequate pay to harassment.

Nurses from across the country came out to show support.

Staff nurse James Fredrickson told NBC Montana nurses are working on new contract negations. He says there are many issues -- from pay to complaints of bullying -- they want to see addressed when mediation resumes.

Fredrickson says, "We want to look at bullying and improve these conditions in the hospital."

Barbara Johnson is also a nurse at the hospital.  She was on the picket line this morning. She says management is good with communicating their intentions but has a difficult time following through.

"We want to make sure there's a follow though on that and there really is not bullying, or intimidation or threatening behaviors in the day-to-day practice," Johnson explained.

We wanted to get the hospital's side.  We spoke to Chief Nursing Officer Vickie Groeneweg to learn what the hospital had to say. She tells us they're working with nurses to address the issues, and says she's never had any record of bullying by staff and administration.

"To my knowledge we've never had claims of harassment on the nursing side in the five years I've sat in this role. I've never had a claim brought to me that's harassing in the workplace," Groeneweg says.

Groeneweg says she takes any breach of policy on the nursing side seriously.

Hospital officials and nurses plan to meet Wednesday morning to continue contract negotiations.

The hospital and the nurses stress this is not a strike and only and informational picket. The hospital says the picket did not affect patient care.