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Little Rock, Ark. (Jan. 15, 2019) – OPEIU Local 22 registered nurses employed at CHI St. Vincent are expressing outrage over the announcement that the labor and delivery and NCIU – originally slated for closing on March 1 – will now close by early February.
“The hard-working nurses who staff the L&D unit are still reeling from the announcement that the 130-year-old unit would be closing on March 1 – the reason for which we still haven’t been told – and now we find out the unit will close even sooner,” said Paige Yates, RN, president of Local 22. “This rush to close leaves our community and the families who depend on the labor and delivery unit, including the many inductions and caesarean births already scheduled for the coming months, in an extremely vulnerable position.”
Nurses at McLaren Macomb Hospital in Mount Clemens gathered Wednesday night to demand a new contract.
The nurses have been negotiating since May 2017.
They want safe staffing, which would allow nurses to work overtime instead of the hospital hiring contracted workers, and they want to protect nurses against workplace violence. The nurses said many of them have faced violence while trying to assist patients.
The nurses said they will continue to picket, but won't allow it to interfere with helping patients.
About 300 McLaren Macomb union nurses and their supporters -- including Democratic gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed -- held an informational picket Wednesday outside of their Mount Clemens hospital as they try to negotiate a new contract.
At issue at the bargaining table are a pay increase, safe staffing ratios and ways to reduce workplace violence.
Jeff Morawski, president of Office & Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 40 at McLaren, said the hospital submitted a new proposal earlier in the day, about two weeks after the union delivered its most recent proposal. He said union leaders will study the offer and continue negotiations Monday.
The OPEIU Nurses Council (ONC) was established by OPEIU members who are nurses, giving them a means to participate in the resolution of issues affecting their nursing practice. The ONC helps foster a climate of professionalism within the nursing community, promoting best practices regarding patient care, safety concerns and compensation issues. The ONC advocates for legislation to improve working conditions and improve patient care, including measures that address nurse-to-patient ratios and violence against health care workers. Its primary goal is to advance the professional image of the nursing profession.
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