Strike FAQs for MyMichigan Sault RNs

Q. What is a strike?
A. A strike happens when a group of workers – in our case, nurses – come together and decide to withhold our labor to advocate for what is right.

Q. How will the decision about whether to strike be made? 
A. By an overwhelming majority of members voting yes, we have given our elected bargaining team the power to call for a strike if the team deems it necessary.

Q. Is there a strike fund?

The MNA Board of Directors has established a strike benefit for members in good standing. Only union members in good standing will be eligible for this financial support. If you are not yet a member of our union, you can become one by going to

Q. Is striking legal? Am I protected from retaliation if I go on strike?
A. Yes. You have the legal right to strike under the law. No action can be taken against your nursing license for participating in a strike. Retaliation from management against anyone for participating in the strike is strictly illegal. Illegal retaliation may include reducing regular hours, changing schedules, and issuing disciplines. MNA will aggressively defend members experiencing retaliation due to participation in legally protected strikes and union activity. If this occurs, please contact your MNA representatives immediately.

Q. Can the hospital hire permanent replacements?
A. This is not likely and is ill-advised on the part of the hospital. In most strike situations, the use of temporary employees can satisfy the employer’s need to remain open. It would be very difficult to find skilled nurses willing to accept a job without assurance of continued employment when the strike is over, and it could potentially be illegal for management to seek to do so. We are striking, in part, to protest the unfair labor practices of the hospital. If the hospital is found to have committed unfair labor practices (ULPs) related to our decision to strike, they would not be able to permanently replace any workers.

Q. Can the hospital or my manager ask me whether I would strike?
A. You should expect that the hospital or your manager will ask you about whether you would individually participate in a potential strike. Hospitals often instruct managers to develop and utilize personal relationships with staff, so they can get them to talk about their plans. You are not required to respond to these questions. An employee may be subject to discipline if they answer and mislead an employer, so we urge you to simply decline to answer the question. It is also illegal for the employer to ask this question in a coercive or intimidating way. If that happens, you should contact your MNA representatives immediately.

Q. What should I do if my supervisor tells me that I have to come to work during the strike and/or shows me some document saying that?
A. Contact MNA representatives immediately. This is a standard scare tactic to convince some nurses that they are “required” to work.

Q. Will MyMichigan cut off my health insurance?
A. Threatening to take away nurses’ health insurance while on strike would be reprehensible. When GM tried to cut striking workers’ pay in 2019, the backlash was intense enough that they quickly reversed their decision. None of the Big 3 automakers tried to do this during the most recent UAW strike. However, we have to consider the possibility that our hospital’s executives are in fact that hostile towards their workers. We would plan any possible strike to maximize the timing of our work stoppage with the maintenance of benefits.

Q. What if I have pre-scheduled PTO when the strike is called for?
A. If you have scheduled and pre-approved PTO for the time in which a strike is called for, there is no guarantee that the Employer will honor the contract and not revoke your PTO. If the Employer asks you during your PTO to work during a strike, we recommend that you tell them you are exercising your right to strike and then contact your labor representative. If you do not already have scheduled PTO, you will not be able to use PTO to go out on strike.

Q. How will patient care be impacted by a strike? What about my license?
A. We work diligently to protect our patients before and during any strike. This includes giving a 10-day notice of a strike to the hospital. Our strike would be to highlight issues affecting nurses and patients as a result of the hospital’s decisions. Your license will not be negatively impacted by your decision to choose to act in solidarity and go on strike.

Q. Should a newly hired nurse honor the picket line during a strike? What if I’m not yet an MNA member?
A. Every nurse working under the MNA contract should honor the picket line. Federal labor law protects all concerted activity, including strikes. New hires are covered by our contract and therefore should honor the picket line. If you aren’t yet a member, you can join by going to! The more members we have, the stronger our voice. Hospital executives can see our membership numbers going up and it makes a difference in negotiations.

However, no nurse represented by MNA should cross the picket line under any circumstances. We need everyone to stand together in solidarity if we want to make our working conditions better.

Q. What does it take to have a successful strike?
A. SOLIDARITY! The more nurses we have standing together, the stronger we will be. Every nurse who chooses not to stand with us – should we decide to strike – weakens our union and our bargaining position.

Q. When would the strike be?
A. By our vote, we have given our bargaining team the power and ability to set a date for a strike in the future. Our team would provide 10-day notice of a strike date to the hospital.

Q. How can community members support our campaign?
A. Should we end up striking, everyone would be welcome to join us on the picket line. Donations of food would also be appreciated! Community members can also voice their support for us by calling or emailing hospital executives.