Michigan nurses begin 5-day strike

Members of the Michigan Nurses Association began a five-day strike April 15 at MyMichigan Medical Center Sault in Sault Ste. Marie.

The union, which represents about 120 nurses at the facility, is striking as they seek a contract that will ensure adequate recruitment and retention of nurses, according to an MNA news release shared with Becker's. The union said nurses are also protesting what they view as anti-union actions by the hospital, such as allegedly trying to get nurses to quit the union.

"This is our hospital, our community, and we're striking to show MyMichigan executives in Midland that we won't let them give the [Sault] second-class treatment," Audra Farnsworth, RN, said in the release. "Their contract offer would only drive away more nurses, because we would have to pay hundreds of dollars for health insurance every month which would wipe out any raise. They just spent $10 million on a new computer system here …  but they refuse to work with us on a fair contract that will recruit and retain nurses in the [Sault]."

Union members voted to authorize a strike in March and issued a strike notice on April 3. Their last contract expired Dec. 31. 

In a statement shared with Becker's, the hospital said that during negotiations, MyMichigan has proposed an agreement  that is "fair and reasonable and is in recognition of the excellent care our nurses in the Sault provide." 

The hospital said its latest proposal includes a provision for top-of-scale nurses to be paid at $44.77 per hour in year one alone. 

"Once you add in incentives for certifications and a benefits package that all MyMichigan Health employees carry, the compensation is even greater," the hospital added. "Plus, you have investments we've made to make our nurses jobs even better, such as the addition of Epic.

"This electronic medical records system is essential to patient quality and safety and allows us to track data which supports our nurses and doctors at the bedside. We could not have afforded such a system without our partnership with MyMichigan Health."

Both sides have another bargaining session scheduled for April 18, according to the union.

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars