MT. CLEMENS, Mich. (PAI)—If you’re a registered nurse and your union contract with two hospitals includes safe-staffing ratios, what do you do if the hospitals break those pact provisions?
The answer from Office and Professional Employees Local 40, which represents 1,000 nurses at two hospitals in the upscale Detroit suburb of Mount Clemens, Mich., is you hammer at the issue in bargaining sessions, file labor law-breaking complaints with the National Labor Relations Board – and raise hell in public.
Which is what the local did, convening a Town Hall meeting in Mount Clemens on the evening of April 19 to tell the community what’s going on, and take questions, Local President Jeff Morawski said in a pre-meeting telephone interview.
Safe staffing is a nationwide problem, as insurers lean on hospitals to cut costs by cutting down the number of nurses available per shift. The firms’ tactic is to deny reimbursements for claims, arguing they’re paying too much for too many people. One result is doctors’ short visits with patients.