10-day notice would be provided before any strike date is set
Adrian, MI – Nurses at ProMedica Charles and Virginia Hickman Hospital have announced the results of their strike authorization vote today as bargaining for a new contract resumed. The vote was held on January 11. 98% of the nurses who participated in the vote chose to provide their elected RN bargaining team with the ability to call for a strike should it be necessary. About 140 nurses work at the hospital.“Across Michigan and across our country, nurses have been rising up to hold healthcare executives accountable. Today, nurses at ProMedica are saying publicly and clearly that we are prepared to do the same,” said Tracy Webb, RN, president of the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) local at the hospital and member of the elected bargaining team. “We are worried about what will happen in the future if we do not act now. I know that voting to authorize a strike was not a decision any nurse made lightly, but we have been left with no other choice.”
On the same day as the strike authorization vote, nurses filed unfair labor practice charges against ProMedica executives alleging that they have engaged in bad faith bargaining in violation of the National Labor Relations Act. Nurses are frustrated that the hospital has failed to share critical financial information and maintained unlawful, anti-union policies, among other concerns. RNs say that these unfair labor practices are part of what motivated their strike vote.
“I am fed up and tired of millionaire executives thinking they are above the law. They are not,” said Webb. “Nurses will not allow our rights to be continually violated without taking action.”
After more than four months of negotiations, ProMedica executives are still demanding major concessions to nurses’ retirement that would lead to the creation of a two-tier system. ProMedica’s administration is also refusing to provide wages that mirror what other area hospitals are offering. Nurses fear the impact that these proposals could have on staffing levels at the hospital and therefore on patients’ safety.
“I live in Adrian. I grew up here. I work at this hospital because I love my community,” said Jamie Lewis, RN. “I want what is best for my friends and neighbors. I don’t see how our hospital will be able to thrive if ProMedica executives get the concessions they are demanding. Why would any new nurse choose to come here if they could make more money down the road?”
“Healthcare shouldn’t be treated like a business with those at the top making millions while RNs and our patients suffer,” said Raquel Flores, RN, secretary of the local and member of the bargaining team. “As a nurses’ union, we have the ability to fight for what is right. ProMedica executives are asking us to go backward. I can promise you that nurses at this hospital are united and will do what it takes to make sure that we move forward instead.”
Before any strike begins, 10-day notice would be provided to ProMedica’s administration. Nurses have been working under an expired contract since January 1. Negotiations resume today.
The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest and most effective union for registered nurses and healthcare professionals in Michigan. MNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United and the AFL-CIO.