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  • The "Michigan 68" Nurse Anesthetists Fight Attempt to Outsource Their Jobs for Lower Compensation

    A battle of nerves is underway for a metro Detroit hospital group and dozens of its nurses, being called courageous.

    Their jobs are being outsourced and they refuse to keep working without knowing the new work rules. They could be out of a job on Friday with the new year.

    A meeting is happening within the hour with the 68 nurses and their attorney.

    He tells me, he was given those work rules this morning - 94 pages – but he can’t share them because they are confidential. So this is still very much, unresolved.

    The 68 nurse anesthetists work 24-7 for emergency and scheduled surgeries at St. John Providence in Southfield and at Providence Park in Novi.

    Many have worked for the hospitals for years, some for decades.

    The new outsourced company was formed by a local anesthesiologist, Dr. Dominick Lago, who told 7 Action News he had no comment on this bitter labor dispute today.

    The attorney for the nurses says they would get the same base pay, but have reduced benefits and those unknown work rules.

    And to play hardball, the company has told the nurses they are not fired, but resigned, so no severance pay and they have to buy their own health care coverage.

    They are getting national attention on twitter, with supporters tweeting: don’t muzzle them and very sad it comes to this.

    The hospital group says it is moving on with or without the holdout nurses with this statement:

    St. John Providence is continuing with its plan to transition Anesthesia Services provided by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) at Providence-Providence Park Hospital to PSJ Anesthesia on Jan. 1, 2016. PSJ Anesthesia is affiliated with Northland Anesthesia, a respected national anesthesia provider. It is a common practice for health systems to contract with business partners to provide certain services.

    Currently-employed CRNAs are still being offered the opportunity to request transition of employment from St. John Providence to PSJ, with comparable pay and benefits. Their employment with St. John Providence discontinues Dec. 31, 2015. The PSJ Anesthesia staffing model is complete and ready to go. All anesthetizing locations are 100% operational, and will continue to provide safe and efficient anesthesia services after December 31, 2015, without any interruption in care. Quality patient care remains our highest priority at Providence-Providence Park Hospital.
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. Kathleen Courtade Collins's Avatar
      They completed every last scheduled shift because they are consummate professionals, then left on New Year's Eve. The hospital system says everything is fine, but the rooms are staffed with their former "supervising" MDAs, who are now having to provide 24/7 coverage for them. Apparently endoscopy is now only provided with con/sed because they have no staff for endo, although patients might not know it until they have their IVs and are ready to go. 8 of 74 CRNAs hold strong; only ONE agency CRNA has signed on to work there. Please spread the word to support our CRNA colleagues; don't become a scab on St. John Providence's a**.
    1. bicycle Charlie's Avatar
      bicycle Charlie -
      What does "8 of 74 CRNAs hold strong" mean?
      Is that a typo?
    1. MmacFN's Avatar
      MmacFN -
      yah supposed to be 68
    1. Crnaenglish's Avatar
      Crnaenglish -
      There are many challenges facing our profession and this is one of them. Ohio CRNA's support your efforts to stand together as professionals who have faithfully provided care and who should be valued by hospital administration for their services. It is difficult to be on the frontier of such change but do not let uncertainty determine the future. We all admire and look to you all for guidance as you are setting a precedence for others who may face similar circumstances. My hope is that our state and national associations will also stand behind CRNA's on the front line and give them the professional advise and tools to successfully negotiate a contract. Stay united and be strong. You are worth it.
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