Health Care Workers at McLaren Bay Region Hold Rally to Bring Awareness to Contract Talks

Health care workers at McLaren Bay Region Hospital in Bay City are becoming fed up with contract negotiations they say are going nowhere.

While the negotiations have been ongoing since February when the previous contract was up, workers say McLaren is not giving any concessions to them.  Many of the workers, also members of UNITE HERE Local 24 union, held a rally Wednesday near Bay City Central high School to make the public aware of issues they claim to be facing at the hospital, including staffing shortages, safe patient to health care worker ratios, and fair and competitive wages. According to the Michigan Nurses Association, patient safety is the number one priority as patient death from having too few nurses has risen from 22 percent in 2016 to 42 percent in 2023.

So far this year, unionized healthcare workers with McLaren Lapeer Region, McLaren Central in Mt. Pleasant and MyMichigan Medical Center in Alma have voted to authorize strikes before those hospitals conceded to improved contracts.

In a statement, McLaren Bay Region says:

“McLaren Bay Region is currently negotiating with UNITE HERE Local 24, and our goal is to establish a fair contract that is beneficial to both the employee and the hospital.

As negotiations continue, our hospital leadership and physicians remain focused on recruitment, retention, and patient safety.

Despite the fact that the union has chosen to conduct a rally, this does not impact the outcome of negotiations nor distract our team from its continued dedication to high-quality patient care.

We are hopeful that we will reach a mutually agreeable contract in the very near future. Until that time, our focus will continue to be serving the patients who come to our hospital and entrust us with their care.”