2 Michigan hospitals each to raise nurses' pay by at least 16%

Members of the Michigan Nurses Association have approved contracts with McLaren Central Hospital in Mt. Pleasant and MyMichigan Medical Center Alma. 

Nurses at McLaren Central voted Feb. 22 to approve a new three-year contract, according to a union news release. Nurses at MyMichigan Alma approved their agreement Feb. 16. 

The deals, which together cover about 250 nurses, were reached after nurses authorized strikes at both facilities.

Each contract has different specific provisions, but both protect and expand contractual staffing language; provide competitive wages to recruit and retain RNs; and include limits to mandatory overtime, the union said. McLaren Central nurses will receive 16 percent wage increases over three years, without factoring steps. MyMichigan Medical Center Alma nurses will receive an additional 5 percent wage adjustment on average in the first year of their new contract, 3.75 percent in the second year and 3.25 percent in the third. This means these nurses will also receive at least 16 percent wage increases over three years when additional 2022 raises are factored in. 

In the union release, Shenan Shinabarger, RN, president of the local Michigan Nurses Association bargaining unit at MyMichigan Alma, touted the agreement as one with "meaningful improvements that will benefit our patients and our community. We genuinely hope that this will make a difference for Alma in the long run."

Jessica Harradine, RN, president of the local Michigan Nurses Association bargaining unit at McLaren Central, added that the contract "shows what it is possible for nurses to achieve if we remain steadfast and are willing to fight for what is right. We will continue organizing together as a union to make sure that McLaren honors our ratified agreement and puts patients over profits."

Hospital leaders also praised the agreements. 

"We have a high regard for our employees, our relationships with them, and the excellent care they provide to our patients. … We found common ground with our nurses to reach an agreement that is good for our nurses and the medical center," Marita Hattem-Schiffman, central region president with MyMichigan medical centers in Alma, Clare and Mt. Pleasant, said in a statement shared with Becker's. "At MyMichigan Health, safe staffing, workplace safety and competitive compensation have always and will continue to be priorities. Together we remain committed to doing all that we can in order to be the best place for our employees to work and our healthcare providers to practice medicine so we can remain the best place for our patients to receive their care."

Robert David, McLaren Central Michigan president and CEO, shared the following statement: "The bargaining committees' hard work has paid off in the form of an agreement that provides nurses with market-competitive wages and benefits; positive work environment; and commitment to recruitment and retention of quality nurses. This new agreement allows us to continue delivering the high-quality care our community expects from their community hospital." 

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