Bargaining Update 04-19-2019
NURSES CONFRONT CEO AT TOWN HALL; SECURE PROMISE FOR “PROBLEM-SOLVING’ ON WORK/LIFE BALANCE ISSUES
Armed with the signatures of the overwhelming majority of nurses in our unit, a large group of McLaren RNs presented a petition to Bart Buxton, President and CEO of McLaren Health Management Group, during a company-wide town hall in Lansing on Friday, April 12. The petition demands a fair contract that:
- Protects patients and NURSES with safe caseload sizes
- Places limits on mandatory overtime
- Provides fair compensation and benefits to retain and recruit the best RNs
- Prioritizes patients over profits
In addition, the petition calls on McLaren to make firm, written commitments to invest in the neighborhoods of Lansing in the midst of its multi-million relocation plan.
Many other McLaren employees who were present at the town hall expressed their support of the nurses after the petition was delivered.
On the heels of this action, the RN bargaining team met with management for a full day on Wednesday. For the first time, management responded to our concerns over the issue of work/life balance, and agreed to use the next bargaining session to begin “problem-solving”. The idea is to focus on the problem, identify shared interests, and to develop creative solutions.
Based on this progress, our RN bargaining team is hopeful that McLaren has begun to realize the significance of these issues and that our next session will mark the beginning of a more constructive approach.
Bargaining Update 03-26-2019
NURSES SAY NO TO CUTS, WHILE PUSHING FOR FAIR AND CONSISTENT PAY
Our bargaining team met with management from approximately 9am to 5:30pm on Tuesday, March 26.
Nurses rejected the employer’s proposed cuts to mileage reimbursement and PTO.
Meanwhile nurses pushed ahead the conversation on wages, again stressing that the arbitrary and low wages offered by McLaren are keeping away talented nurses and making retention a struggle.
McLaren responded with raises entirely dependent on performance appraisals and capped at 2%. Our team did not accept this proposal.
To support our fight for a fair and consistent wage system, our team has been gathering information about each nurse’s years of service as an RN. If you haven’t yet shared your information with a bargaining team member, get in touch ASAP with Susie Miser-Benavidez, Michelle Munson-McCorry, or Nancy Harns.
Don’t forget to sign the petition (see the last bargaining update) and wear red. If you’re looking for some new MNA gear to show your nurse pride, check out https://minurses.myshopify.com/
Bargaining Update 03-15-2019
NURSES LAUNCH PETITION FOR SAFE CASELOADS, OVERTIME LIMITS, AND FAIR COMPENSATION
Our bargaining team met with management from 10:30am to 5:00pm on Friday, March 15th.
The focus was on the remaining non-economic issues, with the goal being to finish these issues before moving back into economic issues such as wages and benefits, as well as caseload limits.
The written attendance policy includes very strict provisions that can result in termination of a nurse after only four absences, despite an otherwise perfect record of nursing performance. Nurses explained to management how this policy unfairly jeopardizes a nurse’s job, especially when issues such as childcare, short-term illness, and other real-life circumstances are considered. Nurses also explained that the company’s Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) procedures are not as clear as they should be.
Our team discussed and presented ways to maintain a fair attendance policy that takes into account such considerations. However, management is reluctant to agree that there is any problem. No agreement has yet been reached.
We reached a tentative agreement on the “Management Rights” article of the contract, securing the obligation of management to provide greater notice when it intends to implement a new rule or policy that will affect nurses’ working conditions. A greater notice period means a better opportunity to understand and respond to a change that may not be the best for nurses and patients.
No agreement is final until a majority of voting members approve a comprehensive agreement in a democratic vote.
We return to the bargaining table on March 20th. Our bargaining team will continue to advocate for fair compensation and benefits, limits on mandatory overtime, and safe caseloads.
To show management that nurses stand united in addressing these concerns, nurses have launched a petition. To sign in support of your co-workers and patients, please contact one of your bargaining team representatives: Nancy Harns, Michelle Munson-McCorry, or Susie Miser-Benavidez.
Bargaining Update 03-08-2019
MANAGEMENT’S DISRESPECT CONTINUES, BUT NURSES WILL KEEP PUSHING FOR BETTER
Our bargaining team met with management for two bargaining sessions this week, from 9 to 5 on Tuesday and Friday.
Despite the nurses persistent explanation of the critical workload issues at McLaren, management’s negotiators have refused to return any language regarding caseload limits or mandation.
Instead, management chided nurses for not completing their charting in “real time” during or immediately after every visit. Our team explained that given the current volume of caseloads this expectation simply isn’t realistic.
Additionally, McLaren will not agree to remain neutral in regard to an employee’s choice of whether or not to become a union member.
Management maintains its proposal that nurses be paid annual raises not to exceed one percent. When our bargaining team asked how this proposal would help with recruitment and retention of nurses for the long term, management could not give a convincing answer.
Our bargaining team continues to push for safe caseloads, eliminating mandation, and a fair wage system.
We will return to the bargaining table on March 15th, but it’s increasingly clear that a fair contract only can be won by our actions away from the bargaining table.
Bargaining Update 02-27-2019
Management Ignores Staffing Concerns; Proposes Cuts and 1% (or less) pay increase
On Tuesday, our bargaining team met with management to receive responses to our proposals of last week.
After two hours of waiting, management brought forward an outrageous set of proposals, including:
- Annually each nurse may get a pay increase “not to exceed one percent (1%)”
- Significant cuts to mileage reimbursement rates
- Lowering the cap on PTO from 400 to 320 hours and reducing the ability to cash out PTO
Even more alarming, management did nothing to address the workload, staffing, and mandation concerns we raised at the first meeting. They say there’s no need to put these issues in the contract because managers can take care of them.
Our bargaining team explained that their proposals do nothing to relieve the circumstances that are damaging our ability to recruit and retain nurses on the frontlines. Moreover, they do nothing to help us provide the best quality care for our patients.
The next bargaining dates are March 5th and 8th. To show we care about our work and our patients – and that we will not stand for these insulting proposals – wear red! If you don’t yet have a red MNA wristband, contact one of the bargaining team members: Nancy Harns, Michelle Munson-McCorry, Susie Miser-Benavidez.
Bargaining Update 02-19-2019
Nurses Push for Fair Pay and Workload Limits in New Contract
It is no secret that nurses at McLaren Homecare Group work long hours. Despite carrying large caseloads and frequently being mandated for extra shifts, nurses make far less than their counterparts at other agencies.
Most notably, fellow MNA nurses at McLaren’s in-town competitor, Sparrow Homecare, have a wage scale in their contract that reaches up to $40.39.
Better wages are needed to retain and attract nurses. That’s why our RN bargaining team is pushing for a wage scale that will bring our pay in line with colleagues across town and provide consistent annual increases. This morning your bargaining team presented that wage scale to management.
In addition, your bargaining team proposed workload limits to ensure safe patient care and called for an end to current mandation practices.
Management didn’t present any proposals but will be responding next week.
Check this website after each scheduled bargaining session to receive more updates from your team.
The next bargaining date is Tuesday, February 26th. To support safe workloads and fair wages, wear red!