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Unionized healthcare workers at Sparrow Hospital approve contract

Sparrow Hospital

After months of negotiations, the Professional Employees Council of Sparrow Hospital voted to approve a new three-year contract Friday evening. This comes weeks after workers authorized a strike if a new contract wasn’t reached.

Karen Hunsaker, a member of the PECSH-MNA bargaining team, says the agreement involves a significant increase in wages.

“So this year, when we get a raise, it's going to be a 6.25 percentage raise for everybody across the board on their pay scale," she said. "So that'll be a big raise for them for this year to make up a little bit, to bring up to the cost of living.”

Hunsaker says the contract is one of the first of its kind for unionized healthcare workers in the state since the pandemic began.

"So, we have set a standard that shows that we can actually staff and pay people to keep them employed at Sparrow and keep them employed," she explained.

A spokesperson for Sparrow says they are hopeful the contract will help retain healthcare workers.

"As the region's only community-owned, community-based, community-governed health system, we will maintain our mission of protecting Mid-Michigan during the worst health crisis of our lifetime," spokesperson John Foren said in a press release.

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.