Mercy Medical Center Nurses to Hold Informational Picket April 1 as Nurses Seek Patient Care and Working Condition Improvements and Corporate Owner Trinity Health Wants to Penalize Sick Time Use, Cut Other Hard-Earned Benefits
Michigan-based Trinity Health, a hugely profitable corporation, is trying to diminish working conditions and negatively impact crucial benefits like sick time despite nurses putting their health at risk during the pandemic
SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 30, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Registered nurses at Mercy Medical Center, represented by the Massachusetts Nurses Association, will join elected officials and community supporters for an informational picket on April 1 to bring attention to hospital owner Trinity Health's failure to respect nurses and agree to important patient care condition improvements while negotiating a new contract during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Informational Picket Details When: Thursday, April 1, 2021 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Where: On the sidewalk outside Mercy on Carew Street in Springfield. How: Nurses, healthcare workers and community supporters will don masks and maintain responsible social distances as they picket. Media are welcome to attend and follow similar social distancing guidelines.
"Trinity Health executives from Michigan are demanding our nurses care for patients under worsening conditions and suffer the disrespect of cuts to our hard-earned benefits," said Alex Wright, RN, and Co-Chair of the MNA Bargaining Committee at Mercy Medical Center. "Trinity is a huge and profitable corporation that should be making improvements to staffing and patient care conditions rather than looking for any way to squeeze out more profits."
"Mercy nurses are committed to making positive, lasting changes at our hospital for patients, nurses and our community," said Jaime Dorunda, RN, and Co-Chair of the MNA Bargaining Committee at Mercy Medical Center. "We are proud to stand with our community and advocate that Trinity Health respect and value the care nurses have provided during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond."
The approximately 400 MNA nurses of Mercy Medical Center are negotiating a contract to succeed their contract that expired on December 31, 2020. Trinity Health took over Mercy Medical Center in 2013 when it acquired Sisters of Providence through a merger with Catholic Health East. Based in Michigan, Trinity owns 92 hospitals nationwide and has nearly $20 billion in annual revenue. In the second half of 2020 its net income reached $2.7 billion, up from $805 million during the same period the year before.
Mercy nurses know what their patients need and are calling for safer staffing levels to ensure high-quality care at all times. Trinity increasingly floats nurses around the hospital even when they may be unfamiliar with the specific patient conditions, equipment, or procedures.
Mercy nurses are fighting back against Trinity Health's proposal to penalize nurses for using sick time, its proposed cuts to overtime and holidays, and the corporation's proposal to change nurses' schedules at any time without nurse input.
Mercy nurses are seeking improved health insurance costs and a fair wage increase that will help retain and recruit nurses.
Mercy nurses are proposing that if a nurse acquires COVID, it is presumed they were infected at work, thereby receiving benefits like workers' compensation without a fight. Trinity is requiring nurses use their own sick time until they can "prove" they acquired COVID at work.
Founded in 1903, the Massachusetts Nurses Association is the largest union of registered nurses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its 23,000 members advance the nursing profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, projecting a positive and realistic view of nursing, and by lobbying the Legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and the public.