Michigan Health Care Workers Unite to Improve Patient Care
GRAND BLANC, Mich., Oct. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --The health care team at Genesys Convalescent Center in Grand Blanc, Mich., has voted overwhelmingly to join the ranks of health care professionals who are members of Teamsters Local 332 in Flint, Mich. The 142 new Teamster members at Genesys work as registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, and in the dietary, housekeeping and maintenance departments.
In two votes held the same day, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses voted 22 to 3 in favor of representation by Local 332, while certified nursing assistants, dietary, housekeeping and maintenance workers voted 87 to 18 in favor of joining Local 332
"Many of us have been talking about needed changes for a long time. We decided it was time for us to take the ball and run with it," said Annette Burman, a 10-year registered nurse with Genesys Convalescent Center. "There is no consistency in policy; it just depends on the day and the manager. The level of care which all nursing home residents need has skyrocketed. We need to address our working conditions in order to protect our patients and community residents."
"We are sticking together. We need a voice and a way to make management listen to us. All of us are in this just like a family, and we all work hard to serve those in need in our community," said Tonya Chin-Kee-Fatt, who has worked at Genesys Convalescent Center for 16 years as a certified nursing assistant.
The workers at Genesys Convalescent Center join the 1,400 Teamsters who already work in the Genesys Health System at the Medical Center and Hospice. The Genesys Health System is owned by Ascension Health, the second largest not-for-profit health care system in the U.S.
Nina Bugbee, President of Teamsters Local 332, affirms that health care workers need to stand strong to protect their professional standards of care and their own working conditions.
"Ascension may be a massive force in the health care industry, but we fight for our members every day, and our members fight for their patients every day. Our union is a powerful voice for patient care, nursing standards and fair conditions for all workers in health care settings," Bugbee said.
Founded in 1903, the Teamsters Union represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Visit www.teamster.org for more information. Follow us on Twitter @TeamsterPower and "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/teamsters.
SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters