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Latest News - October 2013

October 10, 2013
McLaren Lapeer Region, Michigan Nurses Association agree to terms on 4-year contract for nurses
Jeremy Allen

After reaching a tentative labor agreement on Sept. 27, the McLaren Lapeer Region and the Michigan Nurses Association settle on a ratified four-year agreement on Wednesday, Oct. 9 that will remain in effect until May 2017.

Both McLaren and the Nurses Association were happy with the new agreement, saying that the process was laboring, but each was willing to compromise in order to reach a common goal.

“We are very happy that the Union membership ratified a new four year contract,” said Amy Dorr, McLaren Lapeer Region Vice President of Human Resources.

“Union negotiations began in February of this year and took over 20 bargaining sessions to complete. Throughout the process it was management’s intent to work toward a mutually beneficial contract for all involved and we believe we have reached that goal.”

The nurses were glad to see that one of their main concerns – patient to staff ratios – was addressed by McLaren’s board.

She said that all of the nurses made the administration aware of the lack of staffing and they responded in a positive way.

“We’re glad to see our hospital make progress toward achieving what has always been the nurses’ top priority, which is being able to give safe, quality care to every one of our patients,” said Cheryl Weston, RN, one of 235 registered nurses at McLaren Lapeer Region and Chair of the Staff Nurse Council.

“Nurses recognize McLaren’s commitment to taking concrete actions necessary to solve the staffing problems we have been raising, and we’re eager to work with management to put these new solutions into action.”

In September, members of McLaren Lapeer’s nursing staff and other Michigan Nurses Association members rallied on behalf of McLaren Lapeer’s nurses in order to help get staffing at adequate levels.

The new contract assures that the facility will maintain “safe nurse to patient staffing levels in all departments.”

Additionally, the contract includes market-competitive wage increases similar to prior years, a new flexible benefit program with enhanced features such as voluntary life insurance, disability benefits and comprehensive health, dental and vision options, as well as a standardized competitive paid time-off program.

A new addition to the contract is the creation of a Nursing Practice Council.

“The Council will focus on decisions that affect clinical nurse practice and will give everyone involved an opportunity to work together to implement best practices for our patients,” said Ken Sanger, Chief Nursing Officer.

Bart Buxton, McLaren Lapeer Region President and CEO, said that he was very confident that the two bargaining teams would reach an agreement despite the months of contract negotiations.

“I am very proud of the work that was done by the McLaren Lapeer Region team. They put in a lot of long hours preparing and at the bargaining table to make sure that a fair and mutually agreeable contract was negotiated,” he said.

Sara Maddox is another RN at McLaren Lapeer who serves as an emergency room nurse and member of the bargaining team.

Maddox said that the agreement shows the commitment from McLaren to take steps that will help nurses give safe, quality care at all times.

“We want the community to know how much it meant that as we were fighting for them, they were fighting for us. As nurses, we are glad to be able to focus now on giving the best possible care to every one of our patients and making sure everyone can be proud of our hospital,” she said.



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