Genesys Staff Prep For Strike Amidst Changes 7-14-2010 - WNEM TV 5

Genesys Staff Prep For Strike Amidst Changes 7-14-2010

Big changes are on the way for Genesys Regional Medical Center in Genesee County.
The hospital is closing down two of its emergency departments, and consolidated into a brand new campus in downtown Flint.
The move comes just as the hospital’s technical workers prepare to strike.
“Two years ago I got a pin for my 30 years of employment,” said Gayle Tribble, an LPN at Genesys. Now she said she expects a layoff notice any day.
“We're used to two incomes, and we're close to retirement age, so it will affect my family,” said Tribble.
Union president Nina Bugbee said Genesys, now under ownership by St. Louis based Ascension Health, is ready to eliminate as many as 300 technical workers.
“It’s a slap in the face to the LPNs,” said Bugbee. “They are capitalizing on this demoralized area."
Ascension offered the union a final contract on June 24. Bugbee said it reduces wages and positions, and the changes to the pension plan would reduce workers to poverty levels.
"I’m recommending a strike if there are no changes to this last, best, and final offer,” said Bugbee.
A labor attorney outlined the ins and outs of a strike for employees Wednesday. The union must give the hospital ten days notice before going on strike.
Technical workers are even going door to door in neighborhoods around the hospital and handing out flyers because they want the public to know if you come in to be a patient, what service could be like.
"We are not going to be able to keep everyone, you know, take care of everybody,” said 16-year veteran RN Linda Boyden.
She said less workers means patients will suffer. “I hope the hospital can see the light and come around and change things,” said Boyden.
But if not, tech workers like Tribble are ready to strike, and soon.
"I want to be respected as a person that went to school, has a degree, and has passed state boards; that's what I hope for,” said Tribble.
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