McLaren nurses, community supporters to rally outside of Lansing hospital today

Lansing, MI – McLaren nurses and community members will rally outside of McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital today while holding an informational picket. The event will occur from 4pm-6:30pm. Organizers expect that attendance will be well over a hundred.

Nurses at both McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital and McLaren Home Care & Hospice are currently in contract negotiations and have been frustrated by McLaren’s tactics. Nurses say that they are concerned that McLaren’s proposals have not taken any serious steps to address the staffing crisis or end excessive mandatory overtime, two interconnected problems. The number of weekends that Home Care & Hospice nurses have been required to pick up has doubled since 2019. At the hospital, RNs say they keep being asked to do more with less. This is a source of particular frustration given the amount of resources McLaren spent to build a new hospital.

“It saddens me that we have to hold an informational picket to get McLaren to pay attention, but it makes me proud to see how many of my fellow nurses are standing up to say enough is enough. We can’t keep enduring week after week of excessive overtime and poor staffing,” said Candy Higbee, a nurse who has worked for over six years at McLaren Greater Lansing. “We need written commitments in our contract that will create a pathway to safe staffing on every unit, on every shift.”

Nurses at McLaren Greater Lansing are members of the Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU) Local 459, and nurses at McLaren Home Care & Hospice are members of the Michigan Nurses Association. Together, the two unions represent over 400 McLaren nurses in the Lansing area. Members say that they are rallying together to show solidarity for their respective contract negotiations and because they see their struggles as being interconnected.

“We are routinely required to work 12 days in a row because McLaren won’t adequately staff the agency. That’s not safe for patients and not fair to nurses,” said Susie Miser, a homecare nurse who has been with McLaren for 21 years.

McLaren’s CEO makes $8.1 million, according to the most recent publicly available report from 2020. However, the health system is not currently offering home care nurses – who can drive over 100 miles each day – reimbursement at the IRS rate.

“We just want to make sure that our patients’ health and safety comes before the bonuses of McLaren executives,” said Krystal Mannor, a nurse who works in the PACU department at McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital. “At the end of the day, we’re willing to do what it takes to fight for what our patients need.”

OPEIU Local 459 represents approximately 3,000 employees in Michigan, including workers at five hospitals. Local 459 represents nearly 1,100 employees at McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital.

The Michigan Nurses Association represents over 13,000 nurses and health care professionals across the state including at McLaren Home Care & Hospice in Lansing.

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Contact: Amelia Dornbush, 517-896-7478

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