Possible Strike at Sparrow Hospital

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

Sparrow Hospital and the union which represents 2,100 associates including 1,600 nurses, have been in contract negotiations since August 19th.

Sunday night, a final offer was proposed.

According to Sparrow, management has agreed to staffing increases which the union had been calling for, as well as wage increases for members of up to 3.9 percent over the next three years. They also offered to pay 100 percent of a defined benefit pension plan for employees.

But the nurses union is not pleased to say the least, on Monday they released a statement saying they are very disappointed because staffing levels were left unresolved.

"The employer has offered increases in some areas, but there are no guarantees they will stay there which is the problem we had with the last contract," MNA President Jeff Breslin said.

A union source told News Ten the hospital is asking members to contribute more of their pay into their health care costs, and overall it equals concessions they're not willing to make.

"A lot of our members are concerned and that's why we are having informational meetings," Breslin said.

Union members spent all of Wednesday and Thursday voting on this contract. The president of the MNA said leadership has told members they do not recommend this contract.

Sparrow said via email they believe this contract is a good compromise for three reasons: first it increases staffing to national benchmarks -- they believe the wage increases are fair, and they still believe it's offering excellent health benefits to employees.

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  • by sparrow associate on Nov 5, 2010 at 06:03 PM
    As a nurse I'm standing up for the safety of my patients and fighting to keep the pay and pension I currently have. Yes, times are hard for everyone. That's why we don't expect more pay or an increase in anything. We simply want to keep what we have, and to have adaquate staff to give our patients the kind of care they deserve. Sparrow strives to give their patients the "Best care". We need adaquate staffing to live up to that reputation and expectation. I love my job and this whole situation really saddens me. Hopefully, we can come to an agreement that will work for everyone.
  • by Sparrow Associate on Nov 5, 2010 at 09:01 AM
    As an associate of Sparrow, I am ashamed of how terrible the Nurses are making us look with all of this negative publicity. Shame on all of you who think your above everyone else working at Sparrow. So many of us are short staffed currently, and work harder to provide the same quality patient care. Times are tough everywhere right now...
  • by non anonymous on Nov 4, 2010 at 08:05 PM
    The way Jon Berg just talked on T.V. He talked just like a lot of arrogant people we have to fix.
  • by Jeannie Location: Lansing on Nov 4, 2010 at 05:37 PM
    Management's spin is misleading. The pension is cut drastically, staffing isn't guaranteed, health care costs increase triple-fold and are dependent on wellness attestations and physicals, and critical care nursing pay of $0.34 is eliminated. The entire proposal results in pay cuts of a few hundred dollars a month now. The pension benefits which are measly now compared to pensions in other fields, will also be cut several hundred dollars per month. Also, management did not in fact bargain in good faith, but isolated themselves when they deigned to show up for meetings.
  • by Catherine Dunn Location: Mason on Nov 4, 2010 at 04:21 PM
    You news people make me sick. First of all Sparrow has not offered this great increase in wages. They are offering 1% to 2.5% and taking away a critical care pay that alot of Sparrow nurses make which will leave no increase for most RN's at Sparrow. There is no proposal for a much needed staff increase. The increase offered is a rob Peter to pay Paul. They want to take away from our pension of about $200.00 a month for most RN,s. Now lets talk about the health care insurance. An increase of about 16% over the next three years,and believe me it was not all that great to begin with. You report the news according to who pays you the most for your advertisement. Never let it be said the channel 10 reports accurate news. Your all politics. Shame on you.
  • by br Location: lansing on Nov 4, 2010 at 04:10 PM
    3.9 percent, i just recieved zero percent for two years, sounds like public workers are not getting there share, no raises in at least the last five years
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