For Immediate Release
Contact: Sara Wallenfang
McLaren Lapeer can avert a strike with a fair contract that protects patients
(Lapeer, MI) On July 10, nurses of the McLaren Lapeer RN Staff Council/Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) overwhelmingly voted to give their democratically elected bargaining team the authority to authorize a strike.
Nurses have been in contract negotiations with McLaren Lapeer for 15 months, fighting for guaranteed safe staffing levels needed to protect patients. The hospital’s substandard wages continue to erode its ability to recruit and retain skilled nursing staff, even though the hospital was the most financially successful in the McLaren system in fiscal year 2017.
“We rejected the hospital’s ‘Last, Best and Final Offer’ because it doesn’t protect our patients,” said Tom Hall, RN and president of the McLaren Lapeer RN Staff Council/MNA. “We are not going to sit by quietly and let the quality of care erode, especially when we are asked to continually work short-staffed. Nurses take the decision to strike very seriously, and we will do whatever it takes to protect our practice and the community that we serve.”
Voting closed at 7:30 p.m. on July 10, and at that time, no strike date had been set. The elected nurse bargaining team has the authority to call a strike, and by law, they are required to give the hospital ten days of notice.
“It’s ridiculous that McLaren Lapeer is being so stubborn about issues that benefit them in the long run,” said Ashley Weaver, an RN in Orthopedics and bargaining team member. “The nurses who dedicate their lives to serving the Lapeer community deserve fair compensation and safe working conditions. The wages and benefits that have been proposed at the table will not help us attract and keep the professional nurses needed by this community, which is why we voted down the ‘Final Offer’.”
“This is about protecting local families and providing the highest quality of care,” said Jenny Erwin, an RN in the Progressive Care Unit and member of the bargaining team. “We have been in negotiations for 15 months now. It is long overdue for McLaren Lapeer to agree to a contract that includes meaningful safe staffing language and addresses recruitment and retention of skilled nurses.”
The McLaren Lapeer RN Staff Council represents about 240 Registered Nurses at McLaren Lapeer, Michigan. The Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) is the largest, most effective union for registered nurses in Michigan, advocating for nurses and their patients at the State Capitol, in the community, and at the bargaining table.