Michigan nurses to strike July 28

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Nurses negotiating a contract at Mount Clemens, Mich.- based McLaren Macomb have issued a 10-day strike notice.

OPEIU Local 40, the union representing 500 to 600 nurses at the hospital, announced June 29 that its members voted to authorize the strike over patient care issues. Union members said they plan to strike beginning at 7 a.m. July 28. The current contract expires July 27. 

"Our RNs have worked diligently over the last 16 months, dealing with an unprecedented pandemic with a remarkable lack of support from McLaren. A central issue in the negotiations is to provide safe and appropriate nurse-patient ratios, which is the best way to protect our community," union President Jeffrey Morawski said in a news release.

The union also accused McLaren of violating federal labor law while offering inadequate proposals and said Local 40 has more than 130 outstanding unresolved grievances with the National Labor Relations Board related to inadequate staffing.   

McLaren expressed disappointment about the strike notice.  

The hospital said it would prefer to settle contract negotiations without a strike and believes there still is a path for both sides to agree on a fair, competitive contract for nurses while addressing changes for the organization and within the healthcare industry.

"OPEIU has used unfair labor practices to stall negotiations and bargaining in bad faith to push our nurses to a strike," McLaren stated.

If the strike moves forward as planned, the hospital will remain open and fully operational, McLaren stated. McLaren said it is "implementing a comprehensive strike plan" and has contracted with a national firm to provide licensed, experienced temporary replacement nurses to provide patient care during the strike. 

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