ALPENA - Registered nurses, retirees, and concerned community members held a rally in the rain at Duck Park on Monday to speak out against Alpena Regional Medical Center's contract offer. The nurses and community members spoke of their worries about how proposed cuts would affect patient care and the local economy.
"I put my heart and soul into my work," nurse Lori Mousseau said. "For them it's about money, for us it's about patient care and safety. Patients come before profits."
Michigan Nurses Association Executive Director John Karebian spoke of the community benefits the nurses at ARMC have provided over the years.
News Photo by Nicole Grulke
Nurses from Alpena Regional Medical Center and community members gathered on Monday, despite the rain, to rally against the ARMC contract offer.
"Nurses have always been here for the community. They help buy wheelchairs for the poor, backpacks for the kids at school, and presents for children at Christmas ... the nurses for years have done what's right for the community, and it's time for the hospital to stand back and let the nurses do their job." Karebian said. "MNA will stand with you and fight this."
The cuts also would affect health insurance for nurses and their families by making part-time nurses pay 50 percent of health care premiums for themselves and 100 percent for spouses and children, they said.
"I have five children ... and one of my sons has epilepsy. I work for a hospital and I can't afford medical insurance," nurse Bridget Forbes said. "I really appreciate the community support on this."
MNA Communications Director Dawn Kettinger said the nurses will continue to push for negotiations with the hospital.
Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.