At least $8.4 million could go to support front line healthcare workers and acquiring PPE
Lansing, MI – A coalition of unions including OPEIU Local 459, Teamsters Local 332, SEIU Healthcare Michigan, OPEIU Local 40, UNITE HERE! Local 688, and the Michigan Nurses Association put out a call today for McLaren Health Care Corporation executives to reduce their own salaries so that no person makes more than a million dollars this year.
The organizations estimate based on past IRS tax forms that this would allow for approximately $8.4 million to be put into supporting front line workers and buying proper personal protective equipment.
McLaren Corporate has announced layoffs and furloughs across Michigan hospitals.
Front line health care workers say they feel like McLaren Corporate is misspending its resources by prioritizing executive salaries over those on the front lines.
Additionally, Michigan hospitals and health care providers received approximately $1 billion of aid from the CARES act. McLaren Corporate has not disclosed how much of this money they have received. Under the legislation, they are eligible to use this money to account for lost revenue and to increase training to front-line healthcare professionals.
Rather than layoff much needed front line workers, the organizations are calling for McLaren Hospitals to instead use its resources to:
- Use health care workers to screen patients properly;
- Use health care workers to support work with COVID patients on ventilators;
- Cross train health care workers to work in ICUs;
- Provide emergency paid time off for health care workers who must miss work for COVID-related reasons, and;
- Hazard pay.
Tom Hall, a member of the Michigan Nurses Association and a nurse at McLaren Lapeer said: “Our patients deserve the best care possible. McLaren Corporate could be investing millions more in front line care if their executives would do the right thing. It’s a shame that they have not done so.”
Deb Eddy, McLaren Greater Lansing Cardiovascular Technologist and member of OPEIU Local 459 said: “I can think of no clearer example of how broken our health care system is than having a CEO continue to make millions while front line caregivers lose their jobs in the height of the first wave of a pandemic.”
Kimberly Campbell, Respiratory Therapist at McLaren Flint and member of Teamsters Local 332 said: “While we all know that doctors and nurses are key in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, our bargaining unit is a very essential part of the health care team. What the general public is not aware of is the Radiologic Technologists are essential for chest X-Rays that is necessary for the diagnosis of COVID-19. Respiratory Therapists are essential for aerosol treatments and operate the ventilators which are needed for COVID-19 patients to breathe.”
Melissa Bloom is a SEIU member and registered nurse at McLaren Bay said: “We risk exposing ourselves to COVID-19 every day on the frontlines of the pandemic. We are putting our bodies on the line, shouldn’t our employers reward us for our sacrifice?”
Tori Buckner, RN at McLaren Macomb and OPEIU Local 40 member said: “During this unprecedented global pandemic it has never been more important for healthcare corporations to take care of the frontline clinicians who willingly stood on the front lines to care the most vulnerable and sick patients. We deserve to have our lives and our families lives to be a priority.”
The Michigan Nurses Association represents over 13,000 nurses and health care professionals across the state including at McLaren Central, McLaren Lapeer, McLaren Cheboygan, and McLaren Homecare.
The Office and Professional Employees International Union, Local 459, represents over 1,100 employees at McLaren Greater Lansing hospital, home care and physicians’ practices.
Teamsters Local 332 represents approximately 150 Technical Bargaining Unit members at McLaren-Flint which includes essential workers who are certified, registered and/or licensed.
SEIU Healthcare Michigan Represents 11,000 healthcare employees in Michigan and about 650 frontline workers at McLaren Thumb, McLaren Bay, and McLaren Oakland.
Local 688, UNITE HERE! represents most of the ancillary workers at McLaren Bay Medical Hospital in Bay City, including: Environmental Service Aides, Dietary Aides, Cooks, Custodians, Laboratory Asst. II, Sterile Processing Technicians, Storekeepers, Support Services, Maintenance Workers, Maintenance Mechanics, Electricians, Plumbers, Carpenters, HVAC Techs, Painter, Nurses Assts., Nursing Service Clerks, Rehabilitative Service Aides, Transporter, Cardiac Care Associates (CCAs), Endo/Minor Procedure Care Associates (EPCAs), Patient Care Associates(PCAs), OB Care Associates (OBCAs), and Surgical Support Associates (SSAs).
Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 40 represents over 600 Registered Nurses and 320 Service Group members at McLaren Macomb.
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