Michigan RNs Fight Forced Overtime


    Michigan Nurses Association Introduces Resolution Opposing the Use of Mandatory Overtime as a Staffing Solution

    OKEMOS, MI - The Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) took a strong stance against mandatory overtime at their annual House of Delegates meeting. In a resolution introduced by the Cabinet for Economic and General Welfare (E&GW), MNA reiterated its stance against mandatory overtime and asserted its commitment to battle against the continued use of it as a staffing solution.

    According to the resolution, "Shortages of available or experienced nurses have added another dimension to the inadequate staffing brought about through purposeful restructuring, downsizing and substitution of registered nurse staff in hospitals."

    "The use of mandatory overtime, as a solution to the shortage is rampant today. It is pushing nurses beyond their capacity to work safely and to provide appropriate and safe care to patients," says Marylee Pakieser, MNA President. "The absence of prohibitions or limitations on overtime work has contributed to health care error, as well as work-related illness and injury among nursing staff."

    "Mandatory overtime is a dangerous practice for nurses and their patients, and we need to expose it as such," John Karebian, Associate Executive Director for Labor Relations "No employee should be required to work forced overtime, and employers may not use overtime work to fill vacancies resulting from chronic staff shortages."

    "MNA has addressed mandatory overtime concerns in our contracts for many years," says Linda Canfield, Chair of the E&GW Cabinet. "As this problem grows, we need to aggressively combat it through whatever means possible."

    "This resolution reflects MNA's continuing commitment to combat mandatory overtime at every point. We have worked with the Board of Nursing and the Attorney General's office to clarify that nurses cannot lose their license for refusing to work mandatory overtime," says MNA interim Executive Director Dorothea Milbrandt. "The next step is to create a greater awareness in the community about this issue, and to propose legislation eliminating this threat to public safety."

    The MNA House also voted to expand its recruitment into nursing efforts, strongly oppose the use of unlicensed assistive personnel for the administration of medication, and increase MNA's voice in advocating for RN oversight in nursing homes.

    The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest professional association and union for registered nurses in the state of Michigan. MNA fosters high standards of nursing practice, promoting the economic and general welfare of nurses in the workplace, and lobbying the legislature and regulatory agencies on health care issues affecting nurses and their patients.

    MNA is a constituent member of the American Nurses Association and the United American Nurses, and an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.

    Contact us: minurses@minurses.org
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  3. by   -jt
    December 4, 2002

    NURSELINE: A Service of the Michigan Nurses Association


    MNA is pleased to report that the House Health Policy Committee voted 12 to 0 to move House Bill 5829 to the full House for a vote.

    The bill, also known as Healthcare Employee Protection Act, would amend the Whistleblower's Protection Act to extend immunity from liability and protection for healthcare workers who report conditions that compromise the health and welfare of their patients.

    The healthcare worker would first report an unsafe condition to hospital management, and if the matter was not resolved in writing within sixty days, the employee could report to the Michigan Department of Consumer and Industry Services any unsafe practice or condition. A person who provides management with a written notice shall not be discharged, threatened, or discriminated against by management regarding any condition of employment.

    We believe there is an excellent chance that the Bill could pass through the House and Senate before the legislature concludes its business on Thursday, December 12, 2002.

    ATTENTION MICHIGAN NURSES: Please contact your representative and senator and recommend that they support this bill (House Bill 5829). To find your elected representatives, go to http://capwiz.com/minurses/officials/state/?state=MI
    and scroll down to the bottom of the column. Time is of the essence; don't delay in making contact!

    For additional information, please contact Ann Sincox at ann.sincox@minurses.org
    or Lisa Gottlieb-Kinnaird at lisa.gottlieb@minurses.org

    NurseLine is a publication of the Michigan Nurses Association, 2310 Jolly Oak Road, Okemos, MI 48864, 517/349-5640.
    Last edit by -jt on Dec 4, '02