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Sparrow Unionized Healthcare Workers - Update

Sparrow Health System

Bargaining continues this week between unionized health care workers and Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital.

Members of the Professional Employees Council of Sparrow Hospital have been working with an expired contract since the end of October. Last week, the union voted to authorize a strike if a new contract isn’t reached.

Bargaining teams met Monday in hopes of reaching an agreement. Dexter Baker is a nurse at Sparrow. He hopes Sparrow can provide a contract with processes in place to recruit and retain staff.

“Keeping the hospital staff is what keeps your community safe. And you know, that's the type of thing that we want guarantees in and that we’ve kind of been lacking so far.”

The Michigan Nurses Association is taking legal action against Sparrow on behalf of its unionized health care workers. The complaint alleges the hospital violated federal labor law by telling workers they would cut benefits if they went on strike. A spokesperson for Sparrow denies the allegations.

As WKAR's Bilingual Latinx Stories Reporter, Michelle reports in both English and Spanish on stories affecting Michigan's Latinx community. Michelle is also the voice of WKAR's weekend news programs.