MNA Nurses at Borgess Win New Patient Protections in 3-Year Contract
Minimum nurse-patient ratios will increase patient safety
KALAMAZOO – After standing firm in their demands for new protections for their patients, the nearly 600 registered nurses at Borgess Medical Center have ratified a new contract with the hospital that runs through 2016.
"Our top priority was always getting Borgess administration to guarantee adequate nurse staffing to protect our patients' safety, and this agreement finally achieves that," said Jamie Brown, RN, president of the Borgess Staff Nurse Council. "We're glad to have completed negotiations fairly quickly. Our members feel good about the next three years as Borgess nurses, providing the best possible care to every patient."
The Borgess nurses, represented by the Michigan Nurses Association, approved the new contract Tuesday.
The addition of guaranteed staffing ratios is the centerpiece of the agreement. The nurses insisted on minimum nurse-to-patient ratios to protect their patients, knowing from their own experience and years of scientific research that inadequate nurse staffing can lead to dangerous, preventable complications and even deaths.
Because there is no law requiring hospitals to have enough nurses on duty at any given time, negotiating minimum nurse-to-patient ratios in collective bargaining agreements is vital to ensuring patient safety. The new contract requires Borgess to have enough nurses working on every shift to meet medically recommended ratios, which vary by unit, to make sure nurses can provide quality care to all patients at all times.
The Michigan Nurses Association is the state’s largest and most effective union and professional association for registered nurses, representing nearly 11,000 RNs statewide and advocating for them and their patients.