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Licensed Nurses, Technicians Protest at Genesys Regional Medical Center

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 General News J E 4
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Members of Teamsters Local 332 on Informational Picket Due to Hospital Cuts

GRAND BLANC, Mich., June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, hundreds of hospital workers picketed in front of Genesys Regional Medical Center to protest the hospital's draconian terms proposed during the latest round of negotiations that would terminate the current retirement, health care and wage system.

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The technical bargaining unit is represented by Teamsters Local 332 in Flint, Mich. The group, comprised of licensed practical nurses, technicians, paramedics and EMTs, has been notified that the hospital will impose drastic cuts and layoffs in August. Their contract expired on March 17.

"These employees have continued to work without a contract even though the hospital refused any contract extensions after March," said Nina Bugbee, President of Local 332. "They care deeply about their patients and have been working gracefully without a contract even as the hospital proposed outrageous cuts to their pay and retirement."

Genesys Regional Medical Center abruptly ended contract talks with the Teamsters on June 24. The hospital is refusing to accept any counteroffers to its proposed contract or to schedule any additional meetings to discuss the contract. The hospital notified the media that it will impose the contract on its employees in August.

"Lives are at stake here. Genesys aborted the negotiations process and refuses to accept a counterproposal from us," said Angela Oberman, business agent for the technical bargaining unit at Local 332. "Employees who have dedicated their lives to this institution are seeing their pensions eliminated and their wages cut, and they can no longer look forward to a dignified retirement."

The contract Genesys proposed would:

"If Genesys imposes this contract, some of these dedicated health care workers would lose $800,000 from their retirement," said James P. Hoffa, Teamsters General President. "Many of them will also see higher health care co-pays at the same time their wages are cut. I am stunned that a Catholic institution would treat its dedicated, longtime employees this way."

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents more than 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.

Fact Sheet: Ascension/Genesys Health System

Company Overview

Health Care Professionals at Ascension/Genesys Health System

-- End employees' defined benefit pensions -- Cut the hospital's contribution to employees' retirement plans by 75 percent on average -- Demote all licensed nurses to technicians, with resulting pay cuts of up to $7,000 per year -- Eliminate licensed nurses and all paramedics and EMTs -- Eliminate all step increases in wages -- Eliminate many opportunities for overtime pay -- Increase employees' health care co-pays by 100 to 142 percent -- Increase employees' prescription drug co-pays by up to 300 percent

SOURCE Teamsters Local Union 332
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