Early media reports have incorrectly stated what Sparrow has proposed in terms of compensation increases for NNU/MNA/PECSH represented staff. Had our proposal been accepted, nurses and other health care professionals represented by the NNU/MNA/PECSH would have received pay improvements of between 10% and 13% (including wages increases and, for some Associates, longevity bonuses) during the course of the contract.
Our proposed plan provides increases in staffing throughout the hospital to keep pace with increasing patient volumes and to reduce the reliance on overtime, call-in, agency and contract labor. These new RN positions allow Sparrow to meet national benchmark standards that would rank Sparrow as one of the top hospitals in the nation in terms of staffing and are in addition to the 161 RNs Sparrow has hired since January 1.
Our proposed pay improvements of between 10% and 13% (including wage increases and, for some Associates, longevity bonuses) reflect our ongoing commitment to our staff to continue to be a leader in terms of pay and benefits. Currently, before this contract proposal is even considered, the average wages for Sparrow RN's is 6% above the average for MNA-represented hospitals in Michigan and 8% above the average for all hospitals with 300 or more beds in Michigan, according to an independent third party survey of wages and benefits.
- Sparrow has proposed to continue, as part of our best-in-class benefit package, our commitment to pay 100% of the costs of a generous defined benefit pension plan for NNU/MNA/PECSH represented Associates. Across the country, many hospitals and many companies in most industries have taken steps to discontinue or completely eliminate defined benefit pension plans. In fact, currently only 12% of hospitals still offer a defined benefit pension plan to their employees.
- Sparrow, however, heard from our Associates that they value having a defined benefit pension plan. We have committed to keeping this valuable benefit in place and continuing to pay 100% of the cost of this benefit.
- However, in order to continue to afford a defined benefit plan in the face of economic and financial market pressures, Sparrow is asking to adjust the benefit formula.
- These changes are no different than what have already been accepted by all other Sparrow Associates, including UAW represented Associates, non-represented Associates and leadership.