Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital workers hold picket amid contract negotiations

Kelly Gooch - Print  | 

Union nurses at Detroit Medical Center's Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital in Commerce Charter Township, Mich., held an informational picket April 25 amid negotiations for their first contract with management.

The Professional Nurses Association of Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, an affiliate of the Michigan Nurses Association represents the workers. The nurses picketed over what they deem as unsafe staffing and other patient care concerns, according to a union news release.

"I am speaking out today because Huron Valley nurses are doing everything that we can to care for our patients, but increasingly, we are stretched so thin that near-misses are becoming ordinary," said Tina Grossman, an emergency department nurse at HVSH. "There simply aren't enough of us to keep patients safe at all times."

In addition to staffing and patient care, pay is another key bargaining issue for the nurses. The union said nurses seek "fair compensation to attract and retain highly qualified RNs."

Hospital officials said Huron Valley was fully operational during the planned picket, and spoke positively about negotiations so far. They noted informational pickets, such as the one April 25, are common during union negotiations. 

"Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital has been negotiating with the MNA in good faith since the nurses voted for MNA representation in March 2016," officials said in an emailed statement to Becker's Hospital Review. "There are no time limits on negotiations, and first-time contracts can often take some length of time to negotiate. Both parties have continued to meet and negotiate in good faith on an almost weekly basis with the assistance of state and federal mediators in the hopes of reaching an agreement that is mutually beneficial."

The officials added: "HVSH's leadership team has great respect for its nurses and care providers, as well as for the safety of its patients."

In response to the union's assertions over patient care and staffing, the hospital noted Huron Valley's various quality achievements, including recognition as a Top Hospital for Safety and Quality by Leapfrog Group and earning Magnet Recognition by American Nurses Credentialing Center.

Contract negotiations between both sides have been ongoing since May 2016.  

 

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