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Central Michigan hospitals return to bargaining table after strike authorization

Courtesy Photo
Michigan Nurses Association
Nurses from MyMichigan Alma rally for better wages and manageable overtime in December.

Officials at MyMichigan-Alma say they remain confident a deal will be reached, after its nurses' union approved strike authorization last week.

MyMichigan-Alma and its nurses' union are set to return to the bargaining table on Wednesday, February 1.

Marita Hattem-Schiffman, President of MyMichigan Health Centers in Alma, Clare and Mount Pleasant, said she remains optimistic the two sides can reach an agreement.

“We're prepared if our nurses decide that they want to speak with a voice of strike, we'll continue to keep our patient care operations going in a safe manner, and an excellent manner. We hope we don't get to that," Hattem-Schiffman said. "And we really don't think we need to again; we've been pretty close since before Christmas.”

In January 2022, MyMichigan-Alma raised nurses pay ceiling by four dollars.

A move Hattem-Schiffman said was aimed at helping retain their current nurses.

“We've worked really hard together with our nurses to get through the worst of the pandemic. And we continue to do all we can to be an excellent employer who competitively compensates our staff.”

Hattem-Schiffman says the two sides were close to an agreement in December. She says she’s confident a deal will be reached.

McLaren Central Michigan and its nurses' union returned to the bargaining table on January 30.

Nurses at McLaren Central Michigan have also voted in favor of a strike authorization. In a written statement, hospital administration said they won’t let “such antics detract us from our goal”. The written statement said they’re hopeful the two sides will reach a contract agreement.

Sean Chase is from Newaygo, Michigan. He is a senior at Central Michigan University pursuing a journalism degree.