To Protect Our Contract, Our Patients & Our Families!
Dear Fellow Mercy RNs,
We are reaching out to you, our colleagues, because we are facing a severe threat to our jobs, our families and our patients, and the only way we can protect ourselves is by staying strong and united in our union, SEIU.
As Registered Nurses, we are proud of our SEIU contract which ensures we can advocate for our patients and that we are compensated and treated fairly for our highly skilled work. We fought for many decades to build up our contract, which guarantees our pay scale, healthcare, benefits, staffing, job security and rights.
We were able to win these high contract standards because we have the strength and resources of SEIU, the largest and most effective healthcare union in America. With SEIU, we have the support of the 80,000 member Nurse Alliance, which includes nurses from all over the country, and 1 million medical professionals nationally in SEIU Healthcare.
With SEIU we also have the support of our more than 1,000 technical and service colleagues throughout Mercy. We know that all members of the healthcare delivery team have a vital role to play, and our voice with management is much more powerful and effective when all caregivers throughout the hospital are united.
But now, the actions of certain staff who work for the Michigan Nurses Association, which represents nurses at the Hackely campus, are putting our contract, our union and our future at risk.
Years ago, in a spirit of respect and cooperation, SEIU negotiated a “Transfer of Work” agreement with the MNA, which states that SEIU represents nurses at the Mercy Campus and the MNA represents nurses at the Hackley Campus. When Mercy announced the construction of the new tower, and that Hackley nurses would be transferred there, our union tried to reach an agreement with the MNA whereby both unions could continue to represent their members in the new facility. We’re still amenable to such an agreement and believe it’s in the best interest of all Mercy nurses.
But the MNA staff refused our multiple attempts to negotiate an agreement in good faith, and instead went to the National Labor Relations Board and requested to hold an election for all Mercy and Hackley RNs to be represented by one union. This move by the MNA is deeply disingenuous, because they have a slight numerical advantage at Hackley, which could negate the democratic choice of Mercy RNs.
We want to be clear that being forced to leave SEIU would be an absolute disaster for Mercy RNs. We would lose our contract, which we strongly believe is superior to MNA’s contract at Hackley. We would have to negotiate a completely new contract starting from zero. And we would lose the strength of SEIU and our technical and service colleagues throughout Mercy. The MNA has no union support from other Mercy staff, and no national voice or resources to take on Mercy’s corporate owner, Trinity Health, which is one of the largest health systems in the country.
This crisis is a Code Purple—we need all Mercy nurses to get involved in our union and have each other’s backs in SEIU. Most importantly, if an election is held we need to ALL VOTE FOR SEIU and talk to all the RNs at Hackely about doing the same.
Only by staying strong and united in SEIU can we protect our contract, our jobs, our patients and our families.
Wendy Trach, RN David Tinsley, BSN, RN Frank Durante, BSN, RN Laura Krzykwa, BSN, RN Tom Kelsh, RN
Because of our strength in SEIU, Mercy RNs have achieved a far superior contract. We need to stay strong and united in SEIU to protect our contract, and we cannot let the MNA staff put our wages, benefits, scheduling, job security and rights at risk. See how much we have to lose:
The SEIU Difference
Mercy RNs Speak
“Registered nurses have so many protections with our SEIU contract. If we transfer to another department, we keep our bidding seniority, and our step raises go up by years and not just by hours worked. We need to stay strong and united in SEIU so we can protect our contract, our patients, our jobs and our families.”
LAURIE KOHLBECK (pictured middle)
Over 21 years of service
“I’ve been a nurse for 29 years and have 22 years of service at Mercy. Our SEIU contract is superior to other unions in so many ways, especially pay. We’re some of the highest-paid RNs around, and that’s why many nurses come to work here from other hospitals. We’ve been able to win this first-rate contract because we have the strength of the 80,000 member SEIU Nurse Alliance, and our 1,000 technical and service colleagues throughout Mercy. We need to keep building our camaraderie and unity in SEIU so we can protect our patients, pay scales and superior contract.”
Mercy RN, ICU
“We have 84 years of experience between the three of us, and it has been GREAT being members of SEIU! Our union has always fought hard for our holidays, health insurance and other benefits. For instance, if we’re mandated, the hospital is required to give us an hour’s notice to go home and take care of our families. We need to stay together and strong in SEIU so we can protect all the benefits in our contract and continue to win more.”
CINDY HULKA (pictured right)
Mercy RN, Orthopedic Unit
“I started out as a nurse’s aide, became an RN in 1980, and have been Chief Steward for a total of 24 years. I wrote a lot of our union contract at Mercy, so I know firsthand how many important benefits and rights we have. For example, if we are mandated and have 10 hours or less before our next shift, we have the right to take that time off. We accrue PTO for every hour we work, without a required minimum number of hours. The only way we can protect our contract, which includes our pay scales, benefits, healthcare, staffing, job security and rights, is by staying strong and united in SEIU.”
Mercy RN, Heart & Vascular, Prep & Recovery
40 years of service
“I’ve been a registered nurse at Mercy Health for 23 years, and have worked all over, including the ER, critical care, home care and now radiology. It’s so important to stay strong and united in SEIU, because our union contract ensures nurses have good wages and benefits, job security and that we are treated fairly. We have a competitive pay scale with time and a half pay on Sundays and time and a quarter pay on Saturdays. When we are united and have each other’s backs in SEIU, we can protect our contract and our patients!”
Mercy RN, BSN
GET INVOLVED IN OUR UNION TODAY!
For more information, talk to one of your SEIU Stewards,