Beaumont Royal Oak nurses launch union effort

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    Nurses at Beaumont Health’s Royal Oak hospital have launched a unionization effort, according to the organizing union, the Michigan Nurses Association.

    Nurses at the hospital, just north of Detroit, cite other recent, successful union efforts by health care professionals at Michigan hospitals, such as Munson Health in Traverse City and the Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, part of the Detroit Medical Center.

    Susan J. Demas photo

    The nurses say the organizing efforts are aimed at ensuring proper nursing staff levels at the hospital and giving nurses a say in establishing those staffing levels.

    “We’ve seen the ways in which forming a union allows nurses to advocate for their patients at hospitals across the state like Munson Medical Center, Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, and University of Michigan’s Health System,” Kelly Brockenshire, a registered nurse (RN) at Beaumont-Royal Oak Hospital, said in a statement. “We’re excited and proud to be a part of a growing wave of nurses across Michigan organizing to form our union.”

    After officially launching the organizing effort on Tuesday, nurses at the Royal Oak hospital say they’ll continue engaging with colleagues about coming together to form a union.

    “We’re organizing to form our union because we care deeply about our patients and our community,” said Susan Schultz, an RN. “We know that if we win a union, we’ll be able to have a real say at the table about the issues that matter most to our patients and to us.”

    The union effort is so far supported by about 100 of the reported 3,000 nurses at Beaumont’s Royal Oak hospital. The organizing attempt launched on Tuesday marks the fourth such effort nurses there have taken over the last 24 years, according to a report in Crain’s Detroit.

    Nick Manes
    Nick Manes covers West Michigan, business and labor, health care and the safety net. He previously spent six years as a reporter at MiBiz covering commercial real estate, economic development and all manner of public policy at the local and state levels. His byline also has appeared in Route Fifty and The Daily Beast. When not reporting around the state or furiously tweeting, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, Krista, biking around his hometown of Grand Rapids and torturing himself rooting for the Detroit Lions.


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