Here are where things stand in negotiations as of 1/3/2024:
- The employer wants to eliminate their 401K annual contribution. They also want to get rid of their biweekly match and make it be annual instead. This collectively is a loss of millions of dollars over the course of our careers.
- They have provided no counter to our proposal on staffing ratios and ways to protect nurses’ work/life balance.
- Wages that are below what nurses in nearby hospitals make and below the rising cost of living. To make matters worse, they are also trying to decrease the value of the raises provided by our steps.
Strike FAQs for MNA 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 in order to advocate for what is right.
Q. When will we hold a strike vote?
A. We are holding a strike vote on January 11. We want to make sure that our patients always come before corporate executives’ profits.
As nurses, we have to decide together how far we are willing to go to get the contract we deserve and to make the hospital’s administration do the right thing. We get to choose together: are we satisfied with what is being offered? Are we willing to continue to tolerate how we’ve been treated? If not, what are we going to do about it?
Q. How will the decision about whether to strike be made? How will I participate in the strike authorization vote?
A. All dues-paying members are invited and encouraged to cast a ballot. If a majority of nurses vote YES, our elected bargaining team will have the power to call for a strike if the team deems it necessary. A strike can only be authorized if we – the membership – choose to make it happen.
If you are not yet a member of our union, you can become one by going to minurses.org/join.
All members in good standing will be eligible to vote. If you are not yet a member, you can join now by going to minurses.org/join. Membership applications will also be available at the vote.
Q. Is striking legal? Am I protected from retaliation or being fired for going 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 could 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. Will ProMedica 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. You will not be able to use PTO while on strike unless you had pre-approved PTO scheduled prior to the strike date being announced. Going on strike is a serious decision nurses make together.
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. Our union will provide the employer with a 10 day notice before the start of the strike.
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. If you do, we urge you to simply reply that you do not know or are unsure. It is illegal for these questions to be asked of you by management in a coercive or intimidating way. If that happens, you should contact your MNA representatives immediately.
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 potential 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. Can the hospital permanently replace us?
A. Attempting to permanently replace nurses would be an incredibly hostile action. Additionally, it could be a legally risky one that could open the hospital up to liability. However, even independent of the backlash they could face, there is a practical issue. The hospital is having a hard time filling any vacancies. Do you really think they can permanently replace over 100 nurses? Our power comes from our solidarity and our commitment to each other.
Q. Should a newly hired nurses 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 minurses.org/join! The more members we have, the stronger our voice. Hospital executives can see our membership numbers and it makes a difference in negotiations. If a strike is authorized, 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? When would the strike be?
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. Should we choose to authorize our bargaining team to call for a strike, we would be giving them 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 and call for a planning meeting to review all the logistical details.
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 – any time and any hour. Donations of food are also appreciated! Community members can also voice their support for us by calling or emailing hospital executives.