Frequently Asked Questions
How does forming a union help patient care and protect our licenses?
Being part of a union allows you to truly be a patient advocate. Sometimes, it is hard to speak up by yourself. By joining together under the banner of MNA, APPs and CRNAs have the power to collectively advocate for what you, in your professional judgment, know is best for their patients. Without a union, the administration is free to put the interest of profit margins over the interest of patient care. At Sparrow Hospital, anytime staff, in their professional judgment, deem a patient care assignment is unsafe, or potentially unsafe, they can fill out a Staffing Concerns Form, located on Sparrow’s intranet. These forms can be used to protect staff licenses by eliminating administration deniability and establishing a record that the assignment was given despite their objection.
What rights do we gain by forming a union?
You gain several new rights by forming a union. First, you gain the right to collectively bargain for a legally binding contract with your employer. Without a union, management is free to make any changes at any time without the input of APPs and CRNAs. Once you win your vote, the facility cannot make changes without negotiating with you first. Then, when your contract is in place, it offers protections and peace of mind. You also gain the right to have a representative join you in any meetings or discussions with management that could lead to discipline.
How will the merger with U of M affect us?
There are a lot of unknowns with the purchase of Sparrow. Without a union, workers have no say when their hospital is purchased or merges with another. However, because Sparrow healthcare professions are unionized with MNA they have several rights and protections. Most importantly, our union stays in place. It’s more important now than ever to have a real voice in decisions affecting your work and your patients.
How does forming a union help protect our benefits?
Once you vote to form a union, labor law says that management may not make any major changes without negotiating with the staff first, including canceling any regularly scheduled wage increases. Bargaining begins from your existing conditions that you already have so you can build onto and improve them with negotiations.
How are decisions made?
A union is not a third party – you are the union. MNA is made up of healthcare workers and is highly democratic. Voting decides important matters such as your representatives, your negotiating team, and your contract.