As Strike Concludes, MNA Soo Nurses Thank Community for Outpouring of Support

SAULT STE. MARIE, MI – As they concluded their 5-day unfair labor practice strike today, Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) nurses at MyMichigan Medical Center Sault want the community to know how grateful they are for the massive outpouring of support.

The nurses’ strike started Monday and ended with a big crowd today at 6:45 a.m. The striking nurses were in good spirits throughout the week, maintaining a picket line outside the hospital around the clock. They were joined at times by community supporters, fellow labor leaders, doctors and even current and former patients.

“We can feel the love of our community, and that means everything to us,” said Joy Roe, RN. “This strike hasn’t been easy on us and our families, but knowing that our community has our back has lifted part of the burden. People want and deserve local, committed nurses who understand and care about the Soo – not nurses from Midland or temporary travelers from elsewhere. The strike has only brought us nurses closer together and we will keep fighting for MyMichigan to do what’s right, with our community’s support.”

The nurses expressed appreciation for all the support that has lifted them up throughout the week and is sending them back to work even stronger. The outpouring has included generous donations of food and beverages from more than 50 individuals and businesses, people who joined nurses on the picket line, commentary on social media, prayers and more.

The Soo MNA nurses voted unanimously last month to give their fellow nurses on the bargaining team the ability to call a strike if necessary. Nurses gave MyMichigan notice of the strike on April 3. The nurses have been working under a contract that expired Dec. 31. About 120 nurses work at the hospital.

A 15th bargaining session Thursday failed to produce an agreement; the next bargaining session is May 10, which is during National Nurses Week. The nurses remain ready to bargain at any time.

The nurses are seeking a fair contract that will recruit and retain nurses so the hospital can safely take care of patients in the community. Nurses say the hospital is frequently short-staffed because Midland-based MyMichigan pays so little in the Soo, arguing they are grossly underpaid compared with other MyMichigan and U.P. hospitals.

MyMichigan’s proposals so far include non-wage concessions that mean many of the nurses will actually take a pay cut.

Nurses point out that MyMichigan recently spent $10 million on a new computer system at the hospital and millions more to buy three other hospitals, yet refuses to make investing in local nurses a priority.

MNA has alleged that MyMichigan has broken federal labor laws multiple times, including by failing to bargain in good faith. MNA has filed multiple unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board. MyMichigan executives were notified of these charges, so it’s unclear why they have publicly denied knowledge of them.


The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest union and professional association for registered nurses and healthcare professionals in Michigan. MNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United and the AFL-CIO.

Contact: Dawn Kettinger; 517-721-9688 (cell)

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