10-day notice will be provided before any strike begins
Mt. Pleasant, MI – An overwhelming majority of nurses at McLaren Central voted today to give their elected RN bargaining team the ability to call for a strike. Yesterday, nurses at MyMichigan Alma also voted to provide their elected bargaining team with the ability to call for a strike.
The results come despite a concerted pressure campaign on the part of McLaren executives to discourage nurses from authorizing a strike. McLaren’s administration sent out multiple communications threatening nurses with the loss of healthcare and even their continued employment should they strike, while attempting to suppress nurses’ legal rights to communicate with one another about the vote. Despite this conduct, 96% voted in favor of authorizing a strike with just 4% opposed. There are approximately 100 nurses working at the hospital.
10-day notice would be provided before any strike begins at either hospital. Both strike authorization votes were held in part to protest the unfair labor practices that nurses allege their hospitals have committed, including bad faith bargaining.
“It’s important for McLaren executives to understand how committed nurses are to keeping our patients safe,” said Jessica Harradine, a nurse at McLaren Central and president of their local Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) bargaining unit. “It is deeply troubling that McLaren’s CEO makes millions of dollars a year while our hospital struggles to retain the nurses we need. Our patients must come before healthcare executives’ profits.”
According to the most recently available IRS form 990, McLaren’s CEO made over $8.75 million in 2021. Data for 2022 and 2023 is not currently publicly available.
Nurses at MyMichigan Alma feel similarly committed. “Nurses have sent a clear signal to MyMichigan executives,” said Shenan Shinabarger, a nurse at MyMichigan Alma and the president of their local Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) bargaining unit yesterday after their vote. “We are united and prepared to do what it takes to make sure that MyMichigan bargains in good faith and puts patients first.”
While hospital executives have often complained about a nursing shortage, publicly available data from government agencies shows that there are over 50,000 RNs with active Michigan licenses who are currently not working as nurses.
“I want to walk into every shift knowing that we will have enough nurses to look after our patients safely,” said Jennifer Hoeve, a nurse at McLaren Central. “I hope that McLaren executives see reason, but if not, we’ve shown with this vote that we’re willing to do what it takes. It’s time for nurses and patients to have a say in how hospitals are run.”
Nurses at MyMichigan Alma and McLaren Central have both been working under expired contracts since November. Negotiations with McLaren executives are scheduled to resume on January 30. Negotiations with MyMichigan executives are scheduled to resume on February 1.
The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest and most effective union for nurses and healthcare professionals in Michigan, representing approximately 13,000 members across the state. MNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United and the AFL-CIO.
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Contact: Amelia Dornbush; 517-896-7478