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Unfair Labor Practice charge filed against Sparrow Hospital

Press Release Press Release, 11/9/10

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Lansing – An Unfair Labor Practice (ULP) charge against Sparrow Hospital has been filed with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The charge, submitted by the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA), presents evidence that Sparrow Hospital restrained, coerced and interfered with its employees in the exercise of their Section 7 rights of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to join, form or assist a labor organization. In addition, the charge states that Sparrow has failed and refused to bargain in good faith with the MNA. MNA is the collective bargaining representative for the Professional Employees Council of Sparrow Hospital (PECSH), which represents the health care professionals employed by the Hospital.

“I am extremely troubled by Sparrow management’s desperate attempt to intimidate and sway our members’ thinking.  The harm being created by the administration is not only damaging within the institution, but I am convinced it hurts everyone in the community as well,” said John Karebian, MNA Executive Director.  “We will not allow them to trample the rights of our nurses and health care professionals.  Our members are steadfast in their charge to address the issues of safe staffing in a responsible manner in these negotiations.”

The charge covers numerous reported incidents of misinformation being shared by managers with PECSH members in an attempt to make the members vote for the Employer’s proposals. In some cases, the Employer submitted proposals to the PECSH membership before supplying the proposal to the PECSH bargaining team. Overall, the charge states, the Employer has engaged in surface bargaining by making very little movement from its initial proposals submitted on August 26, requesting drastic concessions, and otherwise showing no intent to reach an agreement in good faith.

“Our members have told us that some of the managers have accused PECSH/MNA of lying to them and that we’re not giving them the whole story,” said Jeff Breslin, RN, PECSH/MNA President. “This behavior is offensive and unprofessional towards the health care professionals and it has angered them.”

“We’ve been very truthful with our membership throughout this entire negotiating process,” Breslin said. “When your membership understands enough about the behavior of the Employer to the point where over 90% vote to reject their offer and take a strike authorization vote, it’s pretty obvious they know who’s telling the truth and who isn’t.”

Negotiations between the health care professionals and Sparrow management will take place on Wednesday and Thursday, November 10 and 11.

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The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest, most effective union for RNs in Michigan. As the voice of all registered nurses in Michigan, MNA advocates for nurses and their patients at the State Capitol, in the community, and at the bargaining table. MNA is a constituent member of National Nurses United and an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

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