Patient Care and Services Will Continue Despite Impending Strike

SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. – After another full day of negotiating, an agreement between MyMichigan Health and the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) nurse’s union at MyMichigan Medical Center Sault was not met. The strike notice issued to MyMichigan from the MNA on April 3, 2024, will be go into effect on Monday, April 15, at 6:45 a.m. The strike is expected to end on Saturday, April 20, at 6:45 a.m.

“We are again disappointed we did not reach an agreement today. We believe the proposal MyMichigan has on the table continues to be fair and reasonable and is in recognition of the good and hard work of the nurses in the Sault. MyMichigan continues to ask that the union allow the nurses to vote on this contract. We would hope, if they are allowed to do so, the nurses would ratify the proposal and end this labor dispute,” said Kevin Kalchik, president, MyMichigan Medical Center Sault. “While a strike looks imminent, and we appreciate and respect the nurses’ right to strike, we do not believe it is helpful to the MNA and MyMichigan reaching an agreement. A strike doesn’t change the proposal we have on the table that we believe to be a more than fair increase in wages and that will provide all of the nurses a significant increase in their compensation.”

As a result of the strength that a health system brings, MyMichigan Medical Center Sault is prepared for the five-day strike.

“Patient care and services will not be disrupted during the strike. The safety and care of our patients remain our top priority. We have security in place and are fully prepared and equipped to continue to deliver the excellent care our community deserves,” continued Kalchik. “In fact, MyMichigan is fortunate to have nurses from across the MyMichigan Health system that are experienced and well qualified, some of whom are traveling to the Sault, to fill in while the nurses in the Sault are striking. We have every confidence in the clinical expertise of our fellow MyMichigan nurses and their ability to work alongside our dedicated nursing leadership, physicians and other staff. This action of those coming to serve our patients is testament of the power of a health system working together for the good of our patients and it shows MyMichigan’s commitment to maintaining and improving health care in the Sault.”

Since joining MyMichigan Health, much progress at MyMichigan Medical Center Sault has occurred. Examples include wage and benefit improvements for the 800+ employees who are not nurses; investment in infrastructure, such as the roof, the entrance to the Emergency Department and the purchase of all new hospital beds; as well as the launch of Epic’s electronic medical record that is underway this week.

“MyMichigan cares deeply for our staff, community and patients, and will continue do all we can to meet the health care needs for all,” said Kalchik. “We also believe that a contract is best reached at the bargaining table and remain committed to reaching a contract that’s fair for our nurses and doesn’t take away from the resources needed to care for our patients. While it has not yet begun, we look forward to the strike ending and having all of our nurses back to work as soon as possible.”

EUP News Staff

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