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A recent survey highlights the severe short-staffing and retention challenges at the hospital
  • Press conference providing updates on the contract campaign of 400 McLaren Bay Region RNs
  • Friday, December 15th at 2pm at 499 Mulholland St, Bay City, MI 48708 (On the corner of Mulholland and 16th)

Bay City, MI – Close to 94% of 400 SEIU McLaren Bay Region RNs have voted to authorize a strike, escalating a safe staffing campaign that kicked off in September. After 3 months of bargaining, McLaren has moved little on contract proposals. McLaren Bay RNs say their top concerns are short staffing and the erosion of quality care which is leading to poor staff retention in the facility. Short-staffing occurs when the number of admitted patients surpasses a unit’s maximum capacity per nurse set by standards of quality and safety. 

“McLaren doesn’t believe there is a staffing problem, which stands in contrast to a supermajority of over one hundred RNs we surveyed who said they had experienced a time when their safety or their patient’s safety was put at risk because they were short-staffed. We need a contract that makes RNs feel respected and protected while providing high-quality care – that’s what our patients deserve. If McLaren’s wage proposals aren’t high enough to retain long-term staff, then they won’t address the staffing shortages we are experiencing far too often at our hospital,” said Laken Gray, RN at McLaren Bay Region. 

According to a SEIU survey of over 100 RNs, about 70% are working short-staffed 7 or more times a month. Close to 99% of surveyed RNs say they have experienced a time when their safety or their patient’s safety was put at serious risk because they were short-staffed. Close to 93% have considered leaving the hospital, with the main reasons cited being short-staffing, stress, and a lack of respect. 

RNs say the top ways to retain staff at the hospital are to enforce minimum staffing ratios, increase pay, respect workers, and increase safety measures. 

“McLaren knows what the solutions to the staffing crisis at our hospital are, but they have failed to address them. We need to retain our most experienced healthcare workers who know and care about the hospital and the communities we live in. Our hospitals should be an attractive place to work where staff and patients are protected,” said Drew Good, RN McLaren Bay Region. 

SEIU has filed grievances against McLaren for not following the contract language on mandating staff and failing to respond to an information request. 

McLaren Bay Hospital nurses kicked off ‘Safe Staffing September’ on September 7th to highlight how RN staffing ratios help keep our community safe and healthy. In August, UNITE Here Local 24 workers picketed under an expired contract for better working conditions including safe staffing ratios and fair wages, alleging a staffing crisis. Unite Heere Local 24 recently voted by 99% to authorize a strike vote.

One of Michigan’s largest hospital systems, McLaren Health Care Corporation is a non-profit healthcare system that operates 13 hospitals in Michigan with additional healthcare services and cancer institutions offered in Ohio and Indiana. The system’s revenue, including health plan subsidiaries, was $6.46 billion in 2022. They have 19,914 employees and are Michigan’s third-largest hospital system.