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Teamsters to Ascension Genesys: What Part of 'No' Don't You Understand?

Thursday, August 19, 2010 General News J E 4
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Teamsters Joined on Informational Picket by UAW, Michigan Nurses Association

GRAND BLANC, Mich., Aug. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, hundreds of hospital workers picketed in front of Genesys Regional Medical Center to protest the hospital's contract offer that would terminate the current retirement, health care and wage system. They were joined in solidarity by nurses from Borgess Medical Center, represented by the Michigan Nurses Association, and by members of the United Auto Workers and several other local unions in Genesee County.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100127/IBTLOGO)

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The technical bargaining unit is represented by Teamsters Local 332 in Flint. The group, comprised of licensed practical nurses, technicians, paramedics and EMTs, has been notified that the hospital will impose drastic cuts and layoffs on Aug. 29. Their contract expired on March 17.

"These dedicated employees have continued to work without a contract even though the hospital refused any contract extensions after March and even though management has walked away from the bargaining table," said Nina Bugbee, President of Local 332.

Genesys Regional Medical Center is owned by Ascension Health, the largest Catholic non-profit hospital system in America. Genesys management 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.

A recent report by Interfaith Worker Justice, after a delegation of religious leaders met with Genesys employees, found that the company "is clearly failing to abide by Catholic social teachings on the rights of workers."

The contract Genesys plans to implement at the end of August will:

"These workers are the backbone of this health care system, and they are going to see retirement losses of up to $800,000 if this contract is forced on them," said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters General President. "It is also outrageous that a Catholic institution would impose demotions and pay cuts on dedicated workers who have devoted their careers to caring for the Flint community."

Read the Interfaith Worker Justice report here: www.iwj.org/doc/AscensionHealthAFallFromGrace.pdf

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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