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Hospital workers highlight their role as the leading care provider for Grand Haven during the annual Coast Guard Festival

  • The strike will be on Friday, August 4th in front of Trinity Health Grand Haven Hospital during the Coast Guard Festival; over 350,000 people attend the festival annually

  • Workers are protesting bad faith bargaining, low wages, Trinity’s repeated and illegal attempt to undermine their union, and a lack of community investment by Trinity Health

  • Almost 200 workers are represented by SEIU HCMI including Diagnostic Imaging Techs, Lab Assistants and Technologists, Housekeepers, Dietary Workers, and Social Workers, Unit Clerks, Patient Care Associates, Medics, and other positions

Grand Haven, MI – On July 21st, workers at Trinity Grand Haven Hospital delivered a notice for an Unfair Labor Practice strike for Friday, August 4th, which will occur during Grand Haven’s annual Coast Guard Festival. After 7 months at the bargaining table, Union workers say that Trinity has negotiated in bad faith and has failed to make an investment in the Grand Haven community by offering low wages to its employees. 

“We were told for many years that we were helping to keep healthcare in Grand Haven by being lower paid and that Trinity was going to solve all our problems. But Trinity continues to make wage proposals that are far lower than what our colleagues make down the road at the Trinity Muskegon Hospital. Low wages are resulting in recruiting and retention problems across our hospital, often forcing us to work short-staffed. Our community has invested in this hospital for decades and they expect better care. We are going on strike because it’s time for Trinity to invest in workers! We must restore this hospital to being the pillar of the community it once was,” said Beth Ruiter, Medical Technologist at Trinity Grand Haven.

Workers say they chose August 4th as the date for the strike to build awareness of the crucial role they play every year in providing care for the Coast Guard Festival. For a city with a population of 11,000, the influx of 350,000 annual visitors to the festival causes a strain on all services. 

“We were a free-standing community hospital for over 100 years before we were purchased by Trinity Health. We were able to operate because of the immense amount of support we received from the community. We have seen the quality of care become greatly challenged because of the staffing crisis. We want the community to know what’s happening inside the hospital and how focused we are on improving the quality of care and support our patients receive,” said Ricky Kauffman, Lead Radiographer at Trinity Grand Haven Hospital. 

Last December, almost 200 North Ottawa Community Hospital workers voted to affiliate with SEIU after the hospital was acquired by Trinity and renamed “Trinity Grand Haven.” SEIU represents Diagnostic Imaging Techs, Lab Assistants and Technologists, Housekeepers, Dietary Workers, Social Workers, Unit Clerks, Patient Care Associates, Medics, and many other positions at Trinity Grand Haven.