Nurses at McLaren Central Michigan in Mt. Pleasant and MyMichigan Alma are expected to vote this week on an authorization to strike. They’ve been working without a contract since November.
“I love my job. I love what I do. I’m really disheartened that we haven’t been able to make progress,” said Blaire Showers, an ER nurse at MyMichigan Alma.
Showers said she’s worked there for the past three years. She said they just want fair and competitive wages to keep the staff and patients safe.
“I am upset. There’s been a lot of other nursing contracts around the state that have done just that, and they’re able to keep new staff,” said Showers.
Jessica Harradine, a pre-op nurse from McLaren Central and also the President of the McLaren Central Union Local, says nurses are leaving everywhere.
“A lot of nurses are fed up with the way they’ve been treated by their organizations and the lack of help when it comes to staffing and working short,” said Harradine.
Showers said the nurses feel they have no choice but to vote to authorize a strike.
“We have done months of negotiating with my Michigan and they just have not really budged on what their proposal is from the start of our negotiations to now. And we feel we have no choice,” said Showers.
A spokesperson for MyMichigan Medical Centers in Alma, Clare and Mt. Pleasant made the following statement concerning the vote to strike:
“We were surprised to hear of the vote to strike following our most recent negotiations this past Friday. We know our nurses and they are exhausted from these past few years. The sacrifices they made through the COVID-19 pandemic are ones they are still recovering from today. They deserve our deepest appreciation and respect.”
And a spokesperson for McLaren Central Michigan made the following statement:
“It is unfortunate that MNA RNs decided to take a strike vote at McLaren Central Michigan, intending to take nurses away from patient care to strike for wages. The timing of this vote coincides with the difficult time that all hospitals have had in recruiting and retaining nurses during the pandemic and is not a coincidence. This is an unconscionable attempt by select union representatives to use the pandemic as leverage at the bargaining table.”
MyMichigan Alma nurses hold their strike authorization vote on Wednesday. McLaren Central Michigan holds theirs on Thursday.