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Mercy Health workers vote to approve a picket

mercy health muskegon trinity health strike.png
Posted at 8:54 AM, Feb 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-07 17:23:47-05

MUSKEGON, Mich. — Mercy Health workers have announced they "overwhelmingly" voted in favor to authorize a picket.

It comes after weeks of failed negotiations between the union representing the workers and Trinity Health, the company that owns Mercy Health Muskegon.

Employees started to vote on a possible picket last Tuesday after the two parties failed to meet the deadline for a new labor contract. Some of the workers’ demands include better pay, retention bonuses and safe staffing levels.

For weeks now, workers have said that throughout the pandemic they've been short-staffed, adding more stress on the workers that do remain. They say nurses are seeing double the patients they usually would and that it has been a struggle getting adequate equipment and PPE.

Members say what happens next will depend on how negotiations progress this week. If talks progress, they plan to hold off on picketing. If they do not, members intend to take their fight to the curb.

Mercy Health Muskegon issued the following statement: “Mercy Health Muskegon very much values our colleagues represented by SEIU, and we are looking forward to coming to a mutual agreement as soon as possible. We are encouraged to see the negotiating teams increase the pace with multiple meetings last week. We have seven additional bargaining dates scheduled and we remain hopeful more progress will be made this week and next.

"Completing these contracts and taking care of our colleagues is a priority. Mercy Health Muskegon has been able to reach a fair and mutual agreement with the Union in the past and see no reason we will not reach agreements this time.”