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Michigan Nurses Association takes legal against Sparrow Hospital, allege federal labor law violations

Officials with Sparrow deny allegations
Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 8:12 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2021 at 8:19 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan Nurses Association announced Wednesday that the organization filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) against Sparrow Health System.

The NLRB is an independent agency of the federal government of the United States with responsibilities for enforcing U.S. labor law in relation to collective bargaining and unfair labor practices.

“We are completely fed up with the anti-union attitude Sparrow executives have taken,” said Jessica Lannon, a RN and the grievance chair of the Professional Employee Council of Sparrow Hospital. “They keep trying to silence the voices of caregivers. Sparrow’s administration has crossed the line too many times and must be held accountable.”

An official with Sparrow Hospital said the allegations are untrue.

“We are reviewing the complaint and we will have a response when appropriate,” said John Foren, a representative for Sparrow Health System. “We deny all the allegations in the complaint.”

The Michigan Nurses Association alleges that hospital executives:

  • Unlawfully abandoned the safe staffing concerns process in the caregivers’ union contract prior to its expiration;
  • Unlawfully interrogated staff about union activities and unlawfully attempted to prevent staff from wearing red to show support for their union;
  • Unlawfully announced that they plan to restrict provider networks in 2022 for employee health insurance plans;
  • Unlawfully created a position for nurses at Sparrow outside of the union;
  • Unlawfully refused to share financial information with the union;
  • Unlawfully coerced employees’ legally protected right to strike including by making bargaining proposals containing a written threat to withdraw proposals on wages, healthcare, and other economic terms automatically upon notice of a strike.

Related: Sparrow Hospital nurses vote to authorize strike amid contract dispute

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