McLaren Lapeer nurses unanimously vote to authorize strike

Lapeer, MI – Over the past two days, nurses at McLaren Lapeer Region Hospital have been holding a strike authorization vote to give their bargaining team the ability to call for a strike should they deem it necessary. The results of the vote were unanimous. Without a single no ballot cast, 100% of voting nurses chose to authorize their bargaining team to be able to call for a strike. 10-day notice would be provided to McLaren executives before any strike begins. There are approximately 250 nurses working at the hospital.

“Nurses are rising up because we are tired of watching our patients’ lives be jeopardized due to corporate greed,” said Carie Babcock, RN, president of the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) local at the hospital. “We are the frontlines. We will do whatever it takes to win a contract that will protect our patients.”

While hospital executives have often complained about a nursing shortage, publicly available data from government agencies shows that there are over 50,000 RNs with active Michigan licenses who are currently not working as nurses.

“The sad truth is that McLaren’s quarterly financial reports look better when fewer nurses are working,” said Alisha Ferkowicz, RN. “We cannot continue to allow for McLaren’s administration to put profits before patients. We need a meaningful way to hold them accountable.”

According to the most recently available IRS form 990, McLaren’s CEO made over $8.75 million in 2021. Data for 2022 and 2023 is not currently publicly available. McLaren has yet to accept any of the nurses’ proposals to have an accountability mechanism to make sure that executives follow the contractual staffing ratios. Negotiations began nearly three months ago.

“We are fighting for the future of our community hospital,” said Chuck Johnson, RN. “We are fighting for the right to be able to work under conditions that allow us to provide the highest quality of care to our neighbors, families, and loved ones. We know that it’s possible to make McLaren Lapeer better, and we won’t rest until we’ve done so.”

RNs at McLaren Lapeer Region Hospital have been working under an expired contract since May 9. Negotiations resume on June 5.

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

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