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Strike averted: McLaren Flint hospital reaches tentative contract with about 1,000 nurses

AFSCME Local 875 rescinded its strike notice for next week after reaching the deal
McLaren Flint hospital
McLaren Flint hospital(WJRT)
Published: Oct. 29, 2020 at 6:58 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - The union representing about 1,000 nurses at McLaren Flint hospital has rescinded its strike notice after both sides reached a tentative contract agreement on Thursday.

The nurses, who are part of AFSCME Local 875, were threatening to walk off the job next week if a contract wasn’t reached before that time. Negotiations started in May and the previous contract expired about a month ago.

Nurses have said patient safety vs. profits were the main sticking point in negotiations. They were concerned about nurse-to-patient ratios, a lack of proper personal protective equipment and extra duties required of nurses, which they believed could put patients in danger.

The tentative agreement, which must be approved by both sides, would run for four years. A joint statement from the union and McLaren Flint issued Thursday afternoon says negotiators agreed on better nurse-to-patient ratios, commitments to provide proper PPE, a better compensation package and a seat on hospital committees.

Here is a full text of the joint statement:

"We are pleased we were able to reach agreement on terms for a new contract between AFSCME Local 875 nurses at McLaren Flint and McLaren Health Management Group. With the security of a new contract, our nurses will continue to be able to focus on what is most important to all of us: our patients. As healthcare providers and frontline workers, quality patient care has been and always will be our top priority. This agreement puts us in a better position to continue to provide the level of care our community deserves.

Each bargaining agreement is unique and reflects the state of the health care industry and economy at the time, and this contract is no different. The pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges to health care workers and the entire industry around the world. This contract respects the ongoing commitment of registered nurses who provide compassionate, high-quality care for all patients amid a continued prevalence of COVID-19 in the communities we serve. We are in better position to fight this pandemic together with this agreement.

The agreement makes substantial investment in registered nurses and the continued safety and welfare of patients and staff alike. This includes improved nurse-to-patient ratios, continued commitments to proper PPE, a comprehensive wage and benefit package to promote nurse recruitment and retention, participation on additional hospital safety and quality committees, and more."

Congrats to the entire Bargaining Team for the hundreds of hours spent in the Collective Bargaining Process. The agreement will now go to the full AFSCME Local 875 membership for their review and ratification so all voices will be heard. We remain committed to fighting for our patients and for our community so we can fight this pandemic head on.

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