Letters to the editor May 22
Union using bully tactics
In response to the May 20 article “Kalispell Regional unionized nurses vote to strike if contract not reached.”
I commend the staff and the dedication to their patients during this past year. You have gone above and beyond during this pandemic. I know first hand this past year with my medical procedures and stays. Thank you for your service to the community.
I do not agree with the union and their bullying tactics. A 13% base wage increase and 25% compensation? If you are not happy with your pay here in the Flathead there are plenty of other medical facilities that will hire you. The union wants the pay to align with other cities in Montana. Bozeman was brought up in earlier reports. If you want to get paid the same as Bozeman nurses then move there. You can not compare apples and oranges. The cost of living index in Bozeman is 121.6 whereas Kalispell is 97.6. It costs more to live in Bozeman, that is why the pay scale is higher. Simple economics.
The signs around the Flathead “Put patients before Profits.” With a compensation increase of 25% who is putting profits ahead of patients? Going on strike is putting you ahead of your patient. Bullying your employer. Do I agree that the nursing staff should have some input with the administration on staffing? Absolutely! The administration should be open to an elected group of nurses sitting in on decisions and be open to their input.
I was a member of a union (UFCW) years ago and was let down by the representation. They are in it for the money not the welfare of it’s members.
—Craig Smith, Kalispell
Parkline Trail funding
Thank you to the Kalispell City Council for fully funding Kalispell’s future Parkline Trail during their May 3 meeting. The City Council’s decision signals to current property owners and interested developers to proceed with redevelopment plans. These investments, public and private, will increase connectivity and opportunities for new businesses, jobs, and the overall health of our community’s economy.
Revitalizing Kalispell’s core area was once thought impossible. Many before tried, failed and gave up. This time was different; we had the experience, the drive, and yes, the hopeful energy to push this project forward. With the assistance of many people, this redevelopment project is truly a national model for successful economic development.
I have the privilege of serving on the Flathead County Economic Development Authority’s Board of Directors, Kalispell’s partner in the Core and Rail Redevelopment Project. From the start, we envisioned a robust public-private partnership to bring this project to fruition. Current property owners and private developers have already made substantial investments in the core area in preparation for future opportunities. Soon enough, residents and visitors alike will enjoy a stroll through our community’s center, no doubt on their way to a restaurant, shopping, or to meet friends for a craft beer.
Thanks again to the Kalispell City Council for remaining committed to this transformational project. Your decision will pay dividends for generations to come. The best is yet to come for our great community.
—Tony Brockman, Kalispell
Recently our state government found a problem where none existed and passed a law banning transgender youth from interscholastic competition. I’m guessing that the legislator from Whitefish who originally proposed this discriminatory law, and the others who voted for it, have never personally witnessed such a problem in action at the junior high or high school level.
It is my hope that the law is quickly eliminated so that we are not one of the several other states that promote laughter amongst the many states that refuse to bow to this kind of ignorance.
—David LeBleu, Kalispell