This Spring, non-medical grade gloves (think food or housekeeping service gloves) began to appear in the Munson Medical Center OB unit, Emergency Department, ICU, and even the COVID unit. Some nurses unknowingly used the gloves and exposed themselves to potential pathogens. After realizing this, nurses immediately fought back. After bringing attention to the issue, nurses filed ADO forms and voiced their concerns to managers. Nurses also requested PPE information from Munson's administration which showed no discernible shortage of medical grade gloves. After the issue was still not corrected, nurses filed a grievance. Shortly after filing the grievance, Munson Medical Center began to use proper medical grade gloves. Nurses are now taking their case to arbitration to make sure that something like this never happens again.
Ingham County Nurses Fight – And Win!
Protecting the rights of nurses and health care professionals is important at any time – especially in a pandemic. When the Ingham County Health Department tried to pay one group of nurses doing the same kind of work as another group of nurses less, we fought back – and won! Read more here.
Racism is an urgent, pervasive public health crisis in our country. It is a longstanding illness that comes from a deep-rooted hate exhibited by our country’s failing systems. As nurses, we especially see the results of racism in our country’s unequal health care system – often to the point of people of color suffering preventable illness and even early death. Nurses support the outpouring of peaceful activism currently shining a light on systemic racism, which is the path toward healing. We are committed to helping create a country in which all of us – not just some of us – can live safe, healthy lives.
UMPNC-MNA #UnionNursesForBlackLives protest
The Black Medical Association (BMA) at Michigan Medicine held a peaceful virtual protest on June 5th, 2020. UMPNC-MNA RNs joined to advocate for change and answer the call to commemorate the lives lost due to systemic racism: George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade and so many more.
Marquette Nurses Fight Back and the Executives are Left Speechless
Nurses at Marquette are fighting the for-profit health care industry – and they are not backing down. UPHS-Marquette is owned by Apollo Global Management, a private investment management company that has over $300 billion in assets. Yet, they refuse to provide nurses with basic protections or even vital information that would keep patients safe. Accordingly, nurses at Marquette filed multiple Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board and are planning future actions to hold the administration accountable. When they were questioned by the media about their actions, the corporate executives were unable to defend their actions by even providing a statement in response. You can read one of the articles here.
The only thing more powerful than a union is unions banding together. MNA is helping to grow this movement by leading coalitions that consolidate the power of nurses and other health care workers to counter the increasingly corporate mentality of the health care industry.
One example is bringing together multiple McLaren Health Care workplaces. A coalition of Michigan health care unions has jointly condemned McLaren’s lack of transparency, many filing a charge that the health system has violated federal labor law by withholding information from frontline workers. McLaren workers in MNA and the other unions across hospital campuses all wore stickers the same day in protest (see picture below).
The outrage comes amid McLaren executives’ refusal to cap their salaries at $1 million each year. The coalition has called for the over $8 million that would be saved from executive compensation caps to be reinvested in the frontlines.
Shortly after the protests and Unfair Labor Practice charges, McLaren began to provide the requested information about its PPE inventory.
The other unions in the McLaren coalition are AFSCME Local 875, AFSCME Local 2650, IAEP Local 804, OPEIU Local 459, Teamsters Local 332, SEIU Healthcare Michigan, OPEIU Local 40, and UNITE HERE! Local 688.
A second coalition is bringing together health care workers in the Ascension system in Michigan and Wisconsin. The other unions in the coalition are WFNHP, OPEIU Local 40, and the Teamsters. Together, these workers are demanding that Ascension provide contractually guaranteed safe staffing at all hospitals to prepare in the event of a second wave of COVID; cut executive compensation to reinvest in the front line; and treat all front-line workers with respect and dignity.
The Michigan Nurses Association has also been a proud member of the All Campus Labor Council (ACLC) at the University of Michigan -- which began to regularly hold meetings in 2018.
The more that workers pool our power, the louder our voices become.
Nominate a deserving colleague by Aug. 1
MNA awards several honors to deserving members each year. It’s easy to nominate someone – just click here. The deadline is Aug. 1.
Awards include: Diversity in Health Care, Excellence in Nursing Practice, Labor Leader of the Year, Cheryl L. Johnson, RN Labor Legacy Award, Nurse Hero, Outstanding Contribution to MNA, Carolyn Hietamaki Political Nurse Activist, and Michigan Nurses Hall of Fame.
If you’ve been looking for an opportunity to honor a deserving colleague, now’s the time!