Suit alleges scheme to stiff nurses (Detroit Free Press)

  1. Hospitals accused of suppressing pay


    Six metro Detroit hospital systems colluded to suppress registered nurse wages, contributing to nursing shortages and holding back nurses from pay hikes, a lawsuit filed last week alleges.

    The lawsuit, filed Friday in Detroit's U.S. District Court, seeks an estimated $340 million for 16,800 registered nurses working full-time since 2002 at the six hospitals, according to Daniel Small, a partner with Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll, a Washington, D.C., law firm that filed the lawsuit with James & Hoffman, also of Washington, D.C. It hopes to establish the group as a class action.

    data show that RNs in the Detroit, Livonia and Dearborn area were paid an average of $28.38 per hour in 2005. Named in the lawsuit are the On average, RNs were underpaid about $5,000 a year, Small said. The Bureau of Labor StatisticsHenry Ford Health System and the Detroit Medical Center, both in Detroit; the McLaren Health Care Corp. in Flint and Mt. Clemens; Oakwood Healthcare Inc. of Dearborn; Bon Secours/Cottage Health Services in Grosse Pointe, and St. John Health Partners in Warren.


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    Last edit by brian on Dec 22, '06
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   Gromit
    amazing. In one breath they are griping that so many nurses leave the profession (especially at the bedside level) and in the next breath, they pull a stunt like this.
  4. by   medpsychRN
    Same thing is happening in Chicago. I hope we win.
  5. by   Gromit
    As do I. If these hospitals are allowed to get away with this (its collusion -and its illegal) then others will follow suit.
  6. by   juan de la cruz
    As a resident of Metro Detroit and a practicing RN and NP in the State of Michigan, I have mixed feelings about this lawsuit. I agree that we nurses deserve decent wages for the work we do. I have worked in one and continue to work in another one of the hospitals named in the lawsuit. There is no denying the fact that these two hospitals have one of the lowest pay scale for RN's in the entire Metro Detroit area. But you also have to realize that these two hospitals have the biggest load of patients who fall in the underinsured and uninsured category of patients. These two hospitals deliver care to many patients and virtually receive no compensation for the said services. Hospitals were falling like flies and closing shop a few years ago in the City Of Detroit because of the large percentage of uninsured in the city. At the present time, there is only a handful of large health systems that are able to keep afloat.

    What we need to fix is the system allowing patients to seek unnecessary ER visits, not focusing on primary care and prevention and wasting so much dollars taking care of patients who arrive in hospitals when it's too late because their illnesses have already developed multiple complications, not having health insurance for every person regardless of whether they have a job or not.

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