Three Rivers, MI – Nurses at Three Rivers Health – Beacon Health System are speaking out publicly with their concerns after their contract expired last week. The RNs are actively negotiating for a new contract, but a deal has not yet been reached.
“We have worked throughout the pandemic to keep our community safe,” said Brandy Shoup, an emergency department nurse and president of the local union. “But we’re at a breaking point. We have seen far too many of our colleagues leave the profession.”
Mandatory overtime is a major sticking point in the negotiations. Nurses at Three Rivers are routinely required to continue working for hours after their shifts end, with little notice, and are often called in to the hospital on their days off.
“It’s hard to have any life outside of work – or even arrange for childcare – with schedules so unpredictable,” said emergency department nurse Julie Olson. “At the end of the day, this is about our patients and our community. We love Three Rivers. We want to be able to support our families and stay here. That’s just not possible if we continue to be expected to work 16-hour days on a regular basis.”
On March 30, nurses delivered a petition to Beacon Health executives signed by a supermajority of RNs at the hospital calling on them to negotiate a fair contract that “recognizes our worth, reflects the rising cost of living, and makes nursing at Beacon a sustainable career path.”
“Management needs to find a way to retain nurses at our hospital and recruit additional staff,” said RN Jessie Muehlberger. “That’s why we’re fighting for restrictions on mandatory overtime, protections during health emergencies like COVID, and more competitive pay.”
Contract negotiations between Beacon Health executives and the nurses’ union will continue on April 12. Approximately 75 nurses work at Three Rivers Health. RNs say that if they are not able to reach an agreement during the negotiations on April 12, they will meet to discuss next their next steps including possible future actions.
The Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) is the largest, most effective union for RNs across the state. MNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United and the AFL-CIO.
Contact: Amelia Dornbush; 517-896-7478