Sparrow, nurses association reach tentative agreement

The agreement will not be final until voted on by the Professional Employee Council of Sparrow Hospital.
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 8:55 AM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Sparrow Health System and the Michigan Nurses Association’s Professional Employees Council of Sparrow Hospital have reached a tentative agreement for a new 3-year contract, averting a possible strike. This agreement will not be final until voted on by the membership of the Professional Employee Council of Sparrow Hospital, a local of the Michigan Nurses Association (PECSH-MNA).

Highlights of the agreement include:

  • Significant wage increases over the life of the contract such that an average bedside nurse would see a 20% increase in wages over three years,
  • No increases in healthcare premiums over the course of the contract and no reduction in sick days for caregivers,
  • A return to the safe staffing process Sparrow had stopped following at the start of negotiations, and,
  • Contractually guaranteed access to appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

One Sparrow nurse and negotiator with the Michigan Nurses Association’s Professional Employees Council of Sparrow Hospital says they are hopeful with this contract.

“It felt amazing after tiring negotiations to finally hear that they agree to our terms it was a great feeling,” said nurse Dexter Baker.

Both Sparrow and the Nurses Union say their first priority is patient care and that will not be impacted as voting moves forward.

“Our voting process wont affect the care our patients will be receiving. Hopefully we can put the community at ease and know that our membership will pass this contract and we will hopefully avoid that strike and make sure everyone is safe,” said Baker.

“We truly believe that this contract will make a difference for caregivers working at our hospital, for the patients we serve, and for our community as a whole,” said Katie Pontifex, a Sparrow nurse and president of PECSH-MNA. “We are really proud of the solidarity shown by caregivers in advocating for our patients and our community.”

Since Oct. 31, PECSH-MNA caregivers had been working without a contract. The agreement was reached unanimously and, if ratified, would take effect immediately.

“We want to thank the bargaining team from PECSH-MNA for negotiating on behalf of their members and we’re especially grateful to our caregivers for the exceptional care and dedication they provide our patients every day,” Sparrow said in a release. “Navigating the pandemic for the past 21 months has been challenging for everyone and our caregivers have responded with grace and compassion.”

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