LANSING, Mich (WLNS)– Members of the professional employee council of Sparrow Hospital are set to hold a strike authorization vote, stemming from their demand for a new contract.
According to the Michigan Nurses Association(PECSH-MNA), this contract involves 53 different classifications of caregivers, including nurses, pharmacists, and laboratory scientists.
All who have been working under the expired contract since October 31st and this week’s vote will allow all of them to decide on if a strike should be authorized, regarding the new contract that is still in negotiations.
Just weeks ago, hundreds of off-work unionized Sparrow caregivers hosted an informational picket in regards to this contract, asking for a “fair contract that will allow us to recruit and retain caregivers.”
Sparrow Executives say they’ve gone to 20 bargaining sessions since July 28th and do not want a strike, adding that they believe nothing they have proposed at these sessions warrants a strike.
Workers on the other hand say, “We don’t want it to come to this point, and we hope that it doesn’t have to go any further than this point. We think that their proposals have been, well they just haven’t been as good as we wanted them to be,” said Sparrow Hospitals Registered Nurse, Dexter Baker.
In addition, Baker says there’s a rise in the cost of living, which should reflect in the contract. Officials from Sparrow say they are offering wages that reflect that, and hope to come to an agreement eventually.
“We believe that what we’re offering with regards to wages and benefits, it is a fair contract. And so with that, I think that I’m encouraged that we’re still negotiating, and we continue to negotiate in good faith,” said Amy Brown, Sparrow Hospitals Cheif of Nursing Officer.
This strike authorization vote will last from Tuesday, November 16. to Sunday, November 21st, as of now, no resolution has been made, and while this is NOT in any way a strike, if passed it would give authorization for an official strike to take place.
As this story continues to develop 6 News will keep this story updated.