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Trinity Health Muskegon, nurses union approve new collective bargaining agreement

After what the union says was years of negotiating for a fair contract, a collective bargaining agreement was approved Thursday.

MUSKEGON, Mich — In January, nearly 100 Trinity Health-Mercy union workers and community members gathered to demand a fair contract.

The union workers said that they had been negotiating for years, with no raises for a number of departments. 

But, after all that time, a collective bargaining agreement between Trinity Health Muskegon and SEIU Healthcare Michigan, the union representing nursing colleagues within the hospital, was reached.

The new four-year collective bargaining agreement is effective immediately.

“This is an important step forward for the future of our hospital and the health care heroes who keep it running every single day,” said Gary Allore, president of Trinity Health Muskegon. “This result could not have been achieved without the hard work, time, energy and commitment from both parties. I am very pleased with this outcome, and I am grateful for everyone who had a helping hand in reaching this agreement.”

According to a statement by SEIU nurses, the contract includes average pay increases of over 20% during the 4-year contract, a lump-sum bonus that will be as much as $7,000 to more than $11,000 for most nurses, and a retention bonus of up to $10,000.

“This contract will provide relief to the staffing crisis and rebuild the foundation of Mercy as a respected community hospital that provides the highest quality care for its patients. We have sacrificed and put our lives on the line during this global pandemic – we demand to be respected, protected, and paid. We won this strong contract because of the determination, resilience, and resolve of our union nurses. We refuse to back down from our demands, and we were rewarded for staying united in our struggle. Ultimately, this is about providing the best care for our patients and we can only do that when the hospital is adequately staffed. Now we will stand in solidarity with our union techs and support workers who continue to fight for their contract,” said Laura Krzykwa, Registered Nurse and SEIU Bargaining Team Leader at Mercy Health Muskegon. 

SEIU represents 1,800 workers at the hospital.

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