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ESCANABA— Members of the Michigan Nurses Association will hold an informational picket in Escanaba on Thursday, June 27.
The Association says they are doing this to educate the community about OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group’s refusal to agree to a fair contract that will recruit and retain quality RNs.
The informational picket will begin at 4:45pm ET after nurses march from a nearby store with a speaking program at 5:30pm ET.
The hospital released the following statement to Local 3 News:
OSF HealthCare St. Francis Hospital & Medical Group and the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) began negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement on April 1, 2019. A total of 11 bargaining sessions have taken place since then.
Wages and educational requirements have been at the top of the negotiating topics. The hospital has offered wage increases to registered nurses, on average, of 15% during the term of a new three-year contract in an effort to recruit and retain highly qualified registered nurses. The current contract requires registered nurses hired after May 1, 2016, to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) within six years of employment, and is part of a pre-employment agreement. Registered nurses hired before May, 2016 are not required to obtain a BSN. OSF HealthCare offers a tuition reimbursement program to support employees who are furthering their education. While the MNA has bargained to remove the BSN requirement in the new contract, OSF HealthCare believes this evidence-based policy serves as a best practice for optimal patient care.
Though OSF St. Francis Hospital has been negotiating in good faith to reach an agreement, they have received written notice from the MNA union that it intends to engage in informational picketing activity near the hospital on Thursday, June 27 from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m. OSF will ensure that there is no interference with access to the hospital campus in order to avoid any disruptions to patient care.
OSF St. Francis leadership remains optimistic about the upcoming negotiation sessions. The hospital will continue to negotiate in good faith to reach an agreement on a new contract that provides competitive pay increases to registered nurses and does not limit the hospital’s ability to provide high quality, compassionate, and cost-effective care to this community.