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Ascension Borgess nurses will soon vote on whether to authorize a strike

Front of multi-story Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, November 16th 2022
Leonna Larson
Ascension Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo, November 16th 2022

The nurses' union and the hospital in Kalamazoo have been struggling to reach a deal on a new contract.

The Michigan Nurses Association said Friday it will move ahead with a vote on whether to authorize a strike at Ascension Borgess in Kalamazoo.

The union said that Borgess has made some concessions on mandatory weekend shifts and family leave time but said that the hospital is still not offering competitive wages.

Ashley Daniels, a labor and delivery nurse said that she plans to vote ‘yes’ when the union polls its members early next week.

“As much as I don't want that to happen, I feel like what we're asking for, is, is very, very fair. And it is been earned by these nurses over the last three years and is very much deserved, ” Daniels said.

Daniels has been a Borgess nurse since 2011. She said she’s still holding out some hope for an agreement.

“I don't want to work anywhere else. You know, I was born at Borgess. And I always wanted to be a Borgess nurse. Borgess has always had an outstanding reputation,” Daniels said.

The vote is set for next Monday and Tuesday. A ‘yes’ vote would give the nurses’ bargaining team the power to call for a strike. Union rules states that the hospital is given 10 days' notice.

That means it's possible the union will be headed toward a strike when negotiators resume bargaining a week from Monday.

The nurses at Borgess have been working without a contract for three weeks.