McLaren Lapeer nurses authorize strike after failed contract talks

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LAPEER (WJRT) - (7/11/2018) - McLaren Lapeer Region hospital administrators released a statement Wednesday about a possible strike looming after nurses voted to allow negotiators to take that step.

The statement from Chris Candela, McLaren Lapeer Region president and CEO, says the hospital holds clinical excellence and patient safety as the top priorities.

“Any statements to the contrary from the Michigan Nurses Association are baseless, false and, frankly, irresponsible," he said. "We are very disappointed that the union is willing to walk away from patients to take nurses on strike because of an unsustainable demand for money."

Hospital officials are calling on the union to continue bargaining and reconsider the latest offer, which includes double-digit pay raises for the nurses.

"In the meantime, we are fully prepared to provide uninterrupted, safe, quality care if the union takes nurses on strike,” Candela said.

(07/10/18) - A strike could be the next step as McLaren Lapeer Region hospital nurses hold out hope for a fair contract.

Tuesday evening, the Michigan Nurses Association announced overwhelming support of a strike vote, giving union leaders representing the bargaining team authority to authorize a strike.

The nursing staff council represents about 240 registered nurses.

According to the Michigan Nurses Association union, contract negotiations have been ongoing for 15 months now and they're fed up.

The biggest battles have been over safe staffing levels to protect patients and a wage increase to retain a skilled nursing staff.

Voting ended at 7:30 p.m. on July 10.

No strike date has been set, but by law the union is required to give the hospital 10 days notice before going on strike.

In a press release sent out Tuesday evening, the Michigan Nurses Association explained by saying this:

“We rejected the hospital’s ‘Last, Best and Final Offer’ because it doesn’t protect our patients,” said Tom Hall, president of the McLaren Lapeer RN Staff Council. “We are not going to sit by quietly and let the quality of care erode, especially when we are asked to continually work short-staffed. Nurses take the decision to strike very seriously, and we will do whatever it takes to protect our practice and the community that we serve.”

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