Nurses at McLaren Macomb Hospital in Mount Clemens gathered Wednesday night to demand a new contract.
The nurses have been negotiating since May 2017.
They want safe staffing, which would allow nurses to work overtime instead of the hospital hiring contracted workers, and they want to protect nurses against workplace violence. The nurses said many of them have faced violence while trying to assist patients.
The nurses said they will continue to picket, but won't allow it to interfere with helping patients.
Laura Gibbard, the vice president of human resources at the hospital, released the following statement:
"McLaren Macomb is currently negotiating its nursing contract with OPEIU Local 40, which represents approximately 600 nurses who work at our hospital. Our goal is to establish a contract that is beneficial to both parties, and we are committed to that outcome. As negotiations continue, our hospital leadership and physicians remain focused on patient safety, and the bargaining process has not compromised that focus. However, the nursing union has chosen to conduct an informational picket, which is within their rights.
"McLaren Macomb has earned recognition for quality patient care. During 2018, the hospital earned Healthgrades’ Patient Safety Excellence Award, a Leapfrog Patient Safety ‘A’ Grade and the Economic Alliance for Michigan Hospital Patient Safety Award. The current union activities will not distract our team from its continued dedication to high-quality patient care.
"We are hopeful that we will reach a mutually agreeable contract in the very near future. Until that time, our focus will continue to be serving the patients who come to our hospital and entrust us with their care."