Congratulations to the union professionals and Sparrow: earlier this week a strike was averted at the hospital after threats from nursing staff that they would walk out over concerns about patient safety. This is the best outcome for the community, patients, and the hospital.
About 75% of the nurses at Sparrow approved a new 3-year contract with a modest pay increase and promises for better staffing. Earlier last month, the 2,100 member Michigan Nurses Association voted down a different proposed labor agreement and threatened to strike beginning November 22 if their concerns were not adequately addressed by Sparrow officials. Contract talks stalled after that initial vote, and Sparrow officials threatened to lock the nursing staff out if they went on strike. However, the nurses and the officials reached a tentative agreement on November 18, postponing the impending strike.
However, with the new contract firmly in place, both Sparrow officials and the nursing staff expressed satisfaction with the agreement. Specifically, according to the nurses’ union spokesperson, staffing level issues were adequately addressed and the nurse-to-patient ratios will benefit workers and the greater community that utilizes the hospital.