Sparrow RNs and professional staff to vote on contract

LANSING, Mich. - Michigan Nurses Association (MNA)/Professional Employees Council of Sparrow Hospital (PECSH) have scheduled a ratification vote on a new contract with Sparrow on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 3-4. The collective bargaining agreement would cover about 2,100 Associates, including about 1,600 Nurses. The balance includes pharmacists, dieticians, social workers, medical technologists, physical and occupational therapists and other health care professionals.

The proposal offered by Sparrow Hospital to MNA/PECSH professionals includes the following:

  • A commitment to significant increases in staffing throughout the hospital to meet increased patient volumes and to reduce the reliance on overtime, call-in, agency and contract labor, which will ensure our ability to meet established benchmark Nurse-to-Patient ratios.
  • This would be a continuation of Sparrow's commitment to increase staffing to keep pace with recent growth in patient volumes as reflected by a net gain through October, 2010, of over 100 newly hired RN's.
  • Wage increases for MNA represented staff of up to 3.9% over each of the next 3 years.
  • Sparrow will continue its commitment to pay 100% of the costs of a generous defined benefit pension plan for MNA represented Associates. Sparrow is seeking an adjustment in the benefit calculation formula for the plan to make it equal to that offered to all other Sparrow Associates and to ensure our ability to continue to provide this benefit.

Further details on the proposed agreement are being withheld pending ratification. The two sides began negotiating on a new contract on Aug. 19. The current contract expired at midnight Oct. 31.

Sparrow Human Resources Vice President Thomas Ostrander stated, "We have a long and respectful relationship with our professional staff. We believe that, in a period of economic uncertainty, we have offered an agreement that benefits both our Associates and Sparrow and will allow us to continue our focus on improving safety, quality and Patient satisfaction."