Nurses are calling for a fair contract and raising concerns about hospital administrators’ anti-union activity
Alma, MI – Nurses and community members will be rallying outside the hospital later today to call on MyMichigan executives to negotiate a fair contract that puts patients first. Nurses have been working under an expired contract since November 9.
“We are proud to use our voice as union members to be able to protect safe staffing at our hospital,” said Shenanandoah Shinabarger, president of the local Michigan Nurses Association bargaining unit at MyMichigan-Alma and a nurse at the hospital. “We know how important it is to patient safety for us to be able to retain experienced nurses.”
During contract negotiations in 2019, nurses were able to win improvements to their contractually protected safe staffing language. This language provides patient safety guardrails that are lacking in non-union MyMichigan facilities.
“I am proud to be a union member and to work at a unionized MyMichigan hospital,” said Savannah Jerry, RN, who previously worked for a non-union MyMichigan facility and now works as a nurse at Alma. “Because we are able to speak out together as union nurses, we are able to advocate to keep our staffing levels safe and ensure that all nurses are treated fairly. Without the collective voice of a union, only corporate executives get to call the shots.”
MyMichigan’s president made over $1 million according to the most recently available 990 form. Currently, nurses at MyMichigan are advocating for fair wages that keep up with the rising cost of living, for reasonable protections against mandatory overtime, and to protect and improve the safe staffing language that they won in their now expired union contract.
“We are willing to stand out in the cold because we care about our patients and our community,” said Julie Dolloff, RN. “We need a contract that will be able to bring nurses to our hospital and have them want to stay and build a career here.”
Previously, a supermajority of nurses at MyMichigan-Alma had signed a petition calling for the hospital’s administration to negotiate a fair contract in good faith.
In addition to contractual concerns, nurses are also raising the alarm about what they consider to be potentially unlawful conduct by MyMichigan’s administration. Currently, MyMichigan is being investigated by a federal government agency for multiple instances of alleged violations of federal law at different hospitals.
Nurses at MyMichigan-Alma are undeterred, though frustrated, by MyMichigan’s attitude.
“We will not back down from uniting together as a union to speak out for what our patients need,” said Shinabarger. “I hope that MyMichigan executives start bargaining in good faith and stop wasting our time with their anti-union attitude. If they don’t, we are prepared to do what it takes to hold them accountable.”
Negotiations will resume on December 19.
The informational picket and community rally takes place from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. today, December 15, outside of MyMichigan-Alma Hospital (300 E Warwick Dr, Alma, MI 48801).
NOTE: This is not a work stoppage or strike – all participants are attending outside of their work hours. Picketing will occur without disrupting traffic flow or patient care.
The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest union and professional association for registered nurses and healthcare professionals in Michigan. MNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United and the AFL-CIO.
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Contact: Amelia Dornbush; 517-896-7478