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McLaren Macomb Nurses Vote To Strike, Next Negotiation July 9

(CBS DETROIT) – Nearly 600 McLaren Macomb nurses could walk off the job as contract negotiations breakdown and union leaders say members feel over-worked and under-valued.

Nurses at McLaren Macomb are saying enough is enough.

Members from the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 40 is accusing hospital management of caring more about the bottom line than the staff and patients.

The allegations come following a strike vote where eight out of 10 registered nurses voted in favor.

OPEIU Local 40 President Jeffrey Morawski says the current contract expires July 27.

"The hospital fails to follow the contract. We've had over 130 grievances filed for staffing," he said.

Morawski says nurses are burnt out and the morale of the staff is down due to grueling hours and inadequate staff.

"People are quitting every day. Especially in our ICU, our E.R. you know one of the challenges is that you know they built this brand new E.R. with more beds but they didn't want to increase staffing. So now you have more beds, but you have the same amount of nurses who are taking care of more and more patients who actually are sicker," said Morawski.

Morawski also says the national labor relations board issued complaints for illegal actions like union activity interference.

"Pulling them aside on individual interviews saying hey what are your thoughts on this? You think you're gonna go on strike? Would you go on strike? And they can't do that," he said.

McLaren Macomb issued a statement to CW50/CBS 62 saying nurse recruitment and retention has been a challenge in the pandemic.

The statement also outlines new incentives for nurses, including a 15.5 percent raise and a $2,000 appreciation and ratification bonus.

Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 40 representatives are telling me they are set to meet for negotiations July 9. If an agreement is not made, nurses could strike as early as July 28.

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