Sparrow Hospital health workers to vote on strike authorization – State of Reform

Healthcare professionals at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing announcement last week, they will hold a strike authorization vote due to disputes with executives over wages and staffing levels. Members of the Professional Employee Council of Sparrow Hospital, a local chapter of the Michigan Nurses Association (PECSH-MNA), will begin voting on November 16 and end on November 21.

This announcement follows a information picket members of PECSH-MNA on November 3 – which did not result in a work stoppage.

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The vote would allow an elected negotiating team for PECSH-MNA to have the capacity to call a strike, and therefore to trigger a possible work stoppage. If the vote is accepted, PECSH-MNA would provide 10 days notice to the hospital before a strike date is set.

Katie Pontifex, nurse at Sparrow Hospital and president of PECSH-MNA, says:

“All we are asking for is a fair contract that will allow us to recruit and retain caregivers. While a strike is always a last resort, we are ready to do whatever it takes to ensure that we will always be able to provide the highest quality care. We stand up for our patients and our community. “

As of October 31, 53 different categories of healthcare professionals represented by PECSH-MNA at Sparrow Hospital have worked under an expired contract.

According to the MNA, Sparrow’s leaders have yet to come up with salaries that explain the rising cost of living in the region. They also say hospital officials refuse to give healthcare professionals N-95 masks or other similar personal protective equipment (PPE) on request when helping a COVID-19 positive patient.

The MNA said the hospital had not cited the inability to pay as the reason for the lack of resources. Kevin Glaza, Pharmacist at Sparrow Hospital and Vice President of PECSH-MNA, says:

“The cost of living is rising, skilled caregivers are leaving the profession, and so far the only response offered by Sparrow executives is to penalize us if we have to make ourselves sick on weekends by making us double work. the next time. We need fair wages. We need affordable health care. We need a commitment to PPE. Caregivers couldn’t be clearer on what is needed in order to be able to recruit and retain the staff we need, but Sparrow’s leaders just don’t want to listen.

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