Rochester, Mich. (FOX 2) – Ascension Providence Rochester nurses and radiology technicians take to the picket line Monday morning.
Members of the OPEIU Local 40 union voted to authorize a strike through Thursday, citing a lack of progress in contract negotiations and alleged illegal activity. Negotiations have been ongoing since last year, and the union says its membership hasn’t grown in years.
OPEIU Local 40 has requested Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Oakland County Prosecutor Karen McDonald investigate the hospital. The union alleged that the hospital locked out its nurses and radiology techs when it planned to bring in strikebreakers from an out-of-state firm.
“Regardless of the planned duration of the strike, we are contractually required to work a minimum of four days for the replaced registered nursing and radiology technologist workers beginning on the first day of the strike. Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital has represented registered nurses. And radiology technologists will be temporarily replaced beginning on the first day of the strike,” the hospital said. This is stated in his contingency plan.
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The union also said the hospital participated in bargaining and did not provide relevant negotiating information.
Several unfair labor practice cases against hospitals are currently being investigated by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).
“It is our hope that this situation serves as a wake-up call to the administration, urging them to reassess their priorities and proactively address the concerns raised for the safety and security of patients. The well-being of patients should always be at the forefront of any healthcare organization, and now is the time that Administration aligns its actions with these essential principles and core Catholic values,” said Deanna Carlisle, OPEIU Regional Vice President and Local 40 President.
FOX 2 was directed to the hospital’s strike contingency plan when we reached out to Ascension Providence Rochester for a statement:
“The Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 40 has issued a Notice of Intent to Strike to Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital representing registered nurses (RNs) and radiology technologists to conduct a three-day strike beginning at 7:00 a.m. Monday, 11 September, 2023, and ends at 6:59 a.m. on Thursday, September 14, 2023.
“As a ministry of the Catholic Church, we guarantee the right of our associates to organize themselves through union representation and participate in a work stoppage event. However, we are disappointed that OPEIU has decided to go ahead with the three-day strike, especially in view of the economic and logistical hardship it is facing. We will represent our associates and their families, and the questions and concerns these actions may have for our patients and their loved ones. Patient safety is our highest priority, and Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital is prepared to remain open and caring for our patients during this short-term strike. Take in. We have a comprehensive contingency plan to ensure there is no disruption in care or services to those we are privileged to serve.
“Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital is following national best practices for contingency planning that are in compliance with The Joint Commission, OSHA and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. To fulfill our commitment to uninterrupted quality care for our patients, we have contracted with a staffing agency that specializes in work stoppage events. and will provide us with access to a full complement of highly skilled, credentialed registered nurses and radiology technicians.
“Regardless of the planned duration of the strike, we are contractually required to work a minimum of four days for replaced registered nursing and radiology technologist workers beginning on the first day of the strike. Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital has represented registered nurses. And radiology technologists will be temporarily replaced on Monday, September 11, the first day of the strike. , 2023, and will be able to return to their scheduled shifts beginning Friday morning, September 15, 2023, as soon as our replacement company contractual obligations are met.
“Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital would prefer not to use these extended contracted services, especially given the current financial challenges the health care industry, including our ministry, is facing. However, we must take every measure to ensure the health and safety of our patients, families, providers and partners.
“Our hospital is negotiating in good faith with OPEIU to reach a mutually beneficial agreement on a contract that respects human dignity and the rights of all. At the last RN contract bargaining session, our bargaining team presented OPEIU with a final proposal that includes an RN. First Wage offer with an average wage increase of more than 19% per year, as well as an increase of approximately 15% in the maximum pay rate. Our current radiology technologist wage offer includes a wage increase of more than 19% per year. Our hospital is hiring for the first year of any RN or Radiology Technologist contract. These are the largest wage increases. Both wage proposals also include additional wage increases for each of the remaining years of the respective contracts.
“As we focus on preparing to ensure the health and safety of our patients, families, providers and associates during OPEIU’s short-term strike event, Ascension Providence Rochester Hospital will simultaneously honor the upcoming scheduled bargaining sessions on September 6, September 11 and September 18 , 2023, for the RN contract, as well as September 6 and September 28, 2023, for the Radiology Technologist contract.”
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