Union speaks out on claims of labor law violations at Sparrow Health System


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— Sparrow Health System faced allegations of labor law violations at Sparrow Hospital.

A representative of the Michigan Nurses Association at Sparrow told 6 News the hospital failed to release proper information to workers during bargaining.

There are alleged claims that caregivers and nurses are also facing retaliation for wearing masks or clothing that shows support for the union.

Kevin Glaza, the Vice President of the union representing Sparrow caregivers says filing a complaint was a frustrating decision.

“All along with negotiations, we have been hearing from our members and you know, finally, we said ” you know what, this is enough,'” Glaza said.

Glaza told 6 News the decision to file the allegations came after union members said there was backlash on the job.

“Prior to our negotiations, nurses in the ER could wear whatever mask they want,” Glaza said. “If they wanted to wear a mask with a happy face it, they were doing so, you know. This was never a problem but all of a sudden when the nurses started wearing their red masks, it was a problem, it was an issue. Which feels like retaliation.”

The union has filed nine allegations of labor law violations on Wednesday.

Glaza also says that Sparrow has not released data backing up its claims that some bargaining points would put financial stress on the hospital.

John Foren, a spokesman for Sparrow Hospital says they are aware of the complaint and has disputed the claims.

“We still think this can be worked out on the bargaining table,” Foren said, “we expect it to be worked out at the bargaining table. Again, Sparrow does not want a strike, it’s not going to be good for anybody.”

The hospital and the union says despite the issues, the community is still a top priority as the pandemic continues.

“Regardless of what happens, Sparrow will continue to protect the community,” Foren said, “it’s what we do and it’s what the community expects.”

“I’m hopeful, but I think both sides are ready for this to be over, “Glaza said.

Glaza says that the next step is a review of the charter between the Union and Sparrow by the National Labor Board. Negotiations continue for a new contract to replace the one that expired in October are still ongoing.

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