Three Rivers, MI – Nurses at Three Rivers Health-Beacon Health System today held a rally and informational picket to highlight their campaign for a fair contract that invests in nurses and enables them to provide safe, quality care.
The nurses’ contract expired on March 31. Sticking points in the negotiations include the hospital’s excessive forced overtime and efforts to cut related compensation. Nurses are routinely forced to stay past their shifts and often called in on their days off.
Community members also joined the nurses at the picket, which had about 80 participants.
“Nurses just keep giving everything we have, and all the hospital does is demand more and more,” said Brandy Shoup, an emergency department nurse and president of the local union. “Beacon Health has come in and shown that it would rather take advantage of its nurses than invest in what our community needs. We need to be able to recruit and keep nurses – not keep driving them away by exhausting us and disrupting our lives with 16-hour days and cancelled PTO.”
Beacon Health has also threatened the nurses with layoffs, despite spending $232 million on a new tower at a hospital in South Bend, Ind.
“I love what I do and I want our hospital to be the best it can be, and that’s not happening right now,” said Julie Olson, an emergency room nurse and vice-president of the local union. “I chose to serve my community, but this job is taking me away from my family far too often. Beacon Health is not offering solutions. Their plan to run the hospital is just forcing us to work unlimited hours and days at their whim, and that’s not good for nurses or patients.”
Approximately 75 nurses work at Three Rivers Health-Beacon Health System.
The next bargaining date is June 7.
The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest union and professional association for registered nurses and healthcare professionals in the state. MNA is an affiliate of AFL-CIO and National Nurses United.
Contact Dawn Kettinger