Still no contract for MyMichigan Sault nurses

A five day nurses strike at MyMichigan Sault has come to an end but the nurses’ battle for what they deem a fair contract is far from over.

The nurses took to the picket line on Monday, April 15 and maintained a presence outside the Sault Ste. Marie hospital until Saturday morning.

They have been working under a contract that expired Dec. 31.

Fifteen bargaining sessions between the nurses and MyMichigan administrators have failed to produce an agreement.

The latest bargaining session took place on Thursday, amid the strike.

At issue for the nurses is a pay inequity between those working at MyMichigan Sault compared with other MyMichigan and U.P. hospitals.

According to information shared by Michigan Nurses Association, which represents the Sault nurses in their contract negotiations, the top of scale pay rate for registered nurses at MyMichigan Sault is $37 per hour. 

The same wage chart provided by MNA indicates that RN wages at MyMichigan Alma top out at just under $49 per hour.  

The nurses argue that lower pay at MyMichigan Sault makes it difficult to recruit and retain nurses, which leads to understaffing at the hospital.

Michigan Nurses Association has also filed multiple unfair labor practice charges against MyMichiganSault with the National Labor Relations Board.

The next bargaining session is scheduled for May 10, although the nurses say they are ready to return to the table at any time.