(Kalamazoo, MI) Over 100 nurses held a rally and informational picket today at Borgess Hospital to call for a fair contract that guarantees safe staffing and puts patients before profit.
“We are picketing because we know that safe staffing saves lives,” said Jamie Brown, President of the Michigan Nurses Association and registered nurse at Borgess Hospital. “We know that our working conditions impact our patients. We are using our collective voice to say that patients must always come first at our hospital.”
Nurses are asking for guaranteed safe staffing language in their contract. Borgess Hospital executives have yet to respond to their offer.
“Safe staffing is a priority for us because after Ascension’s executives laid off 500 healthcare workers in Michigan last year, we knew we could no longer trust them to do the right thing,” said Dawn Langley, RN. “Ascension made over $100 million in profits in 2018. Why won’t they put safe staffing guarantees in writing?”
According to their most recent publicly available financial statements, Ascension Health System made $104.76 million in 2018. Borgess hospital itself is particularly unusually profitable. According to their most recent IRS 990s, the system operated at a 13.2% profit margin. As a standard of comparison, Bronson Methodist Hospital operated at a 7.1% margin. Ascension’s CEO is the third highest paid of any non-profit healthcare system in the country.
“We want what is best for nurses, patients, and our community,” said Kathleen Hillman, RN. “We won’t back down when it comes to doing what is right.”
The Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) is the largest, most effective union for RNs across the state. As the voice for all registered nurses in Michigan, MNA advocates for nurses and their patients at the Capitol, in the community, and at the bargaining table.
Note: This is not a work stoppage or strike – all participants are attending outside of their work hours. Members will demonstrate without disrupting traffic flow or patient care.
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