Published: August 4, 2021
LANSING, MI – Sparrow Hospital and the Professional Employees Council of Sparrow Hospital (PECSH)-Michigan Nurses Association (MNA), the union that represents 2,300 Sparrow Hospital caregivers, began negotiations Tuesday towards a new collective bargaining agreement.
The previous contract was entered into in 2017 and expired in 2020, but both sides agreed to extend the agreement for another year because of the pandemic. The current agreement expires Oct. 30, 2021.
Tuesday’s meeting was the first of 19 in-person negotiating sessions scheduled between August and October, at which seven representatives from Sparrow Hospital and 13 PECSH-MNA representatives will negotiate the new agreement.
“We recognize the important role our caregivers play in making Sparrow the region’s leading hospital,” said Amy Brown, Chief Nursing Officer at Sparrow Hospital. “We are so grateful for all they do to ensure patients’ safety and to provide them with the highest quality of care. Supporting our caregivers is one of our top priorities, which means providing them with a safe, secure and fully staffed workplace. We proudly offer some of the best pay and benefits in the state and we are committed to keeping it that way.”
Sparrow Hospital is committed to negotiating in good faith with PECSH-MNA to reach a timely and fair contract that ensures that patients can receive the best possible care and that caregivers can do their best work. While a number of issues, including staffing, are expected to take both time and intensive bargaining, Sparrow Hospital does not anticipate making any proposals that would lead to the need for the union to initiate a work stoppage or strike.
Like most health systems across Mid-Michigan and across the United States, staffing is seen as one of the most significant challenges. Sparrow has implemented a number of steps in the past two years to improve recruitment and retention but, nevertheless, has approximately 498 open positions at the moment, of which 128 are RN positions as of Aug. 1, 2021.
At the scheduled negotiation sessions, both sides will review and discuss issues that are important to Sparrow’s patients, caregivers and the hospital.
Sparrow Health System is Mid-Michigan’s premier healthcare organization and includes hospitals in Lansing, Carson City, Charlotte, Ionia, and St. Johns, as well as Sparrow Specialty Hospital, Physicians Health Plan, Sparrow Care Network, Sparrow Medical Group, the Michigan Athletic Club, and AL!VE. Sparrow is affiliated with Michigan Medicine through the Sparrow Children’s Center and with Michigan State University’s three human health colleges. Through these partnerships and the dedication of our 10,000 caregivers, Sparrow pursues a vision to be nationally recognized as a leader in quality and patient experience. For more information, visit Sparrow.org.