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Ascension Borgess reaches tentative agreement with nurses after vote to authorize strike  COURTESY PHOTO

Ascension Borgess reaches tentative agreement with nurses after vote to authorize strike 

BY Sunday, December 11, 2022 07:45pm

Unionized nurses at Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo will vote this week on a proposed tentative contract.

Under the tentative three-year agreement reached Friday, Ascension Borgess nurses represented by the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) would receive average pay raises of 20.5 percent in the first year. That would create a new wage scale ranging from $33.44 to $48.72 an hour.

The MNA and Ascension Borgess reached the tentative agreement days after nurses voted overwhelmingly to authorize their bargaining team to call a strike, if needed. The nurses have worked without a contract since Nov. 11.

“By standing together, we sent a clear message to Ascension that a strong contract that protects patients by recruiting and retaining nurses is vital to our community,” said Lori Batzloff, a nurse at Ascension Borgess and president of the local bargaining unit of the MNA. “Now it’s time for the membership to review the tentative agreement. I plan to vote in favor of the deal and encourage other nurses to do the same.”

Ascension Borgess nurses are scheduled to vote on the agreement on Wednesday.

If approved, the new contract would provide nurses one additional emergency personal day to “address the work/life balance challenges many nurses face and help improve retention,” according to an MNA announcement on the deal.

The new contract also would increase shift differentials for evening and night shift nurses by $1 an hour and increase on-call pay to $5 an hour to help address staffing issues.

The MNA represents 325 nurses at Ascension Borgess Hospital.

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