Borgess nurses ratify new contract with Ascension

The deal comes after RNs had previously passed a strike authorization vote

KALAMAZOO, MI – An overwhelming majority of nurses at Ascension Borgess Hospital ratified a new contract with their hospital’s administration today. The three-year agreement covers over 300 registered nurses at the hospital.

The new contract was reached after 86% of voting Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) members at Ascension Borgess passed a resolution authorizing their elected bargaining team to call for a strike should it be necessary.

“This new contract clearly shows the difference that nurses can make when we are united together as a union,” said Lori Batzloff, a nurse at the hospital and the president of the local bargaining unit of the MNA at the hospital. “We were able to win improvements that will benefit our patients and community as a whole.”

Highlights of the new deal include:

  • Average raises of 20.5% in year one of the contract, creating a new wage scale ranging from $33.44 to $48.72.
  • An additional emergency personal day for all RNs to help address the work/life balance challenges many nurses face and help improve retention.
  • Increasing shift differentials for evening and night shift nurses by $1/hr – a 100% increase for evening nurses, as well as increasing on-call pay to $5/hr to help address staffing concerns

Additionally, following an informational rally by union members in November, Ascension agreed to withdraw their proposals demanding that RNs be required to work every other weekend and eliminating all contractually guaranteed leaves.

“I am so proud of what we were able to accomplish together as nurses by showing our solidarity and grateful for the amazing support we had from our community,” said Doris Goodrich, a nurse at Ascension Borgess and member of the nurses’ bargaining team. “We hope that this contract will mark the beginning of a new chapter at our hospital and for our patients.”

The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest union and professional association for registered nurses and healthcare professionals in Michigan. MNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United and the AFL-CIO.

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Contact: Amelia Dornbush, 517-896-7478

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