OPEIU Nurses Council Vice Chair and Local 459 McLaren Greater Lansing Chief Steward Julie Murray, RN, right, and Recording Secretary Kyra Keusch, RN, travel to Washington to attend the Nurses Take DC Rally April 28. Held annually, the rally draws nursing professionals from throughout the country to the nation’s capital to bring attention to important issues facing healthcare, such as nurse staffing shortages and violence against healthcare workers. Murray was also an invited speaker at the event.
By Mark Gruenberg PAI Staff Writer
MT. CLEMENS, Mich. (PAI)—If you’re a registered nurse and your union contract with two hospitals includes safe-staffing ratios, what do you do if the hospitals break those pact provisions?
The answer from Office and Professional Employees Local 40, which represents 1,000 nurses at two hospitals in the upscale Detroit suburb of Mount Clemens, Mich., is you hammer at the issue in bargaining sessions, file labor law-breaking complaints with the National Labor Relations Board – and raise hell in public.
Which is what the local did, convening a Town Hall meeting in Mount Clemens on the evening of April 19 to tell the community what’s going on, and take questions, Local President Jeff Morawski said in a pre-meeting telephone interview.
Safe staffing is a nationwide problem, as insurers lean on hospitals to cut costs by cutting down the number of nurses available per shift. The firms’ tactic is to deny reimbursements for claims, arguing they’re paying too much for too many people. One result is doctors’ short visits with patients.
After long, difficult negotiations marked with hospital proposals for significant concessions,
Local 459 secured a new contract that maintains healthcare for registered nurses at McLaren
Greater Lansing (MGL).
“It’s Your Health, Your Families and Your Constituents We’re Fighting to Protect”
Washington, D.C. – Nurse members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU), AFL-CIO, from around the country will descend on Capitol Hill on Friday, May 5, 2017, to meet with their legislators and demand safe nurse to patient ratio legislation aimed at protecting nurses, patients and their families.
The nurses, represented by the OPEIU Nurses Council (ONC), will also participate in the Nurses Take DC Rally for Safe Nurse to Patient Ratios, joining an anticipated 10,000 nurses from around the country who are gathering to raise public awareness of the dangers posed by unsafe nurse staffing levels in hospitals and medical clinics. ONC Vice Chair Julie Murray, RN, is among the scheduled speakers.