LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – McLaren nurses are rallying for better contracts.
Members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 459 and the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) will be holding an informational picket on Monday, October 3 from 4-6:30 pm.
The groups will picket outside of McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital. The groups will be joined by President of AFL-CIO Ron Bieber.
The groups stated that this is not a work stoppage or strike and that the pickets will not disrupt traffic or patient care.
Organizers say nurses and supporters are expected to share their stories about the stress they are under as they work extra shifts to make up for low staff numbers.
A member of the bargaining team told 6 News negotiations for a new contract for both hospital, home and hospice care nurses have been in the works since June.
Months later, contracts expired on September 30, causing staff to take to the sidewalk to make their voices heard through this picket.
McLaren Greater Lansing CEO and President Kirk Ray released a statement saying he was not surprised by the decision to picket, and said it’s an attempt to get media coverage that will help them bargain.
“It is unfortunate they have chosen this unoriginal and commonplace tactic routinely deployed by unions throughout the nation, considering today’s enormously challenging health care environment and, especially, since representatives from the hospital and union have negotiated in good faith for several weeks and have made measurable progress toward a new, long-term contract that significantly reduces overtime requirements and provides a path to recruiting and retaining quality nurses.
McLaren holds deep respect and appreciation for our nurses and the courage they have demonstrated in the face of mounting adversity within the health care industry. They are truly health care heroes.”
The protesters want the community to hear their concerns, nurses said in a press release.