A coalition of healthcare unions are calling on McLaren Health Care Corporation executives to reduce their own salaries to free up funds for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The organizations, including the OPEIU Local 459, Teamsters Local 332, SEIU Healthcare Michigan, OPEIU Local 40, UNITE HERE! Local 688, and the Michigan Nurses Association estimate, based on past IRS tax forms, this would provide approximately $8.4 million to support front line workers and buying proper personal protective equipment.
McLaren has announced layoffs and furloughs across Michigan hospitals. Front line health care workers say they feel like McLaren is misspending its resources by prioritizing executive salaries over those on the front lines.
The unions ask McLaren to use health care workers to screen patients properly, use health care workers to support work with COVID patients on ventilators, cross train health care workers to work in ICUs, provide emergency paid time off for health care workers who must miss work for COVID-related reasons and provide hazard pay.
Michigan hospitals have also received about $1 billion in aid from the federal CARES act. According to the unions, McLaren hasn’t disclosed how much of this money they’ve received.
Under the legislation, they are eligible to use this money to account for lost revenue and to increase training to front-line healthcare professionals.