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More than 500 McLaren Macomb nurses deliver 10-day strike notice

McLaren Macomb
Posted at 9:40 AM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 17:51:20-04

(WXYZ) — More than 500 nurses at McLaren Macomb have given a 10-day strike notice to the hospital, according to OPEIU Local 40.

The union represents Registered Nurses and Service Employees at McLaren Macomb.

The notice reportedly states that a strike will begin at 7 a.m. on Wednesday, July 28.

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In late June, nurses voted to authorize a strike, citing “numerous illegal actions against the Union and its membership.”

"Our RNs have worked diligently over the last 16 months dealing with an unprecedented pandemic, with a remarkable lack of support from McLaren. A central issue in the negotiations is to provide safe and appropriate nurse-patient ratios, which is the best way to protect our community,” said OPEIU Local 40 President Jeffrey Morawski said in a press release.

McLaren Macomb issued the following statement regarding the strike notice:

"We are disappointed to learn that OPEIU Local 40 issued a 10-day strike notice. Threatening a strike and using other pressure tactics have been part of the union’s playbook during previous negotiations. However, the fact that OPEIU Local 40 also has notified McLaren of its intent to strike makes the likelihood of a strike more possible.

McLaren would prefer to settle contract negotiations with OPEIU Local 40 without a work stoppage. We believe there still is a path for both parties to reach a fair, competitive contract for nurses while addressing the changes happening in healthcare and for our organization if the union would play by the rules. OPEIU has used unfair labor practices to stall negotiations and bargaining in bad faith to push our nurses to a strike. We believe that any strike action on the union’s part would be illegal based on their unfair labor practice charges and subject the union to sanctions and damages caused to the hospital.

McLaren remains focused on the health and welfare of our patients, employees, physicians, staff and volunteers. Our hospital will remain open and fully operational during OPEIU’s strike, should it occur. We have been preparing for the unfortunate possibility of the union taking nurses away from patients’ bedsides to walk a picket line. We are implementing a comprehensive strike plan to ensure minimal, if any, disruption for those receiving care or visiting our hospital during OPEIU’s strike. We have contracted with a national firm to provide licensed, experienced temporary replacement nurses who will care for patients during the strike. We are prepared and committed to continually provide high-quality care for our community.

We remain committed to bargaining in good faith with OPEIU to reach a tentative agreement on new labor contracts. We are hopeful that we will reach an agreement before the expiration of the contract – and that is our focus. OPEIU has the option to withdraw its 10-day notice before its strike begins."

Editor's note: This story previously reported that more than 600 McLaren Macomb nurses had given a strike notice based off of the OPEIU Local 40 press release that indicated that number. We have confirmed that OPEIU Local 40 represents more than 500 McLaren Macomb nurses, not more than 600.