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Lansing Labor News
Established 1945
August 18, 2017
President Derrick McDuffey
Posted On: Jun 05, 2017

A brighter tomorrow

Working and serving a membership in a health care facility is a unique experience with unique challenges. Sparrow Health Systems is growing by the day; soon we will be unveiling our new state of the art Herbert-Herman Cancer Center that will provide the best cancer treatment to those in our community, and those abroad.
But if the American Health Care Act goes into effect, we all know that too many Americans are at risk of losing health care coverage—not only individually but for entire families, up to a staggering number estimated to be 24 million over the next decade. Due to the number of low-income people who may become uninsured with cuts to the Medicaid programs, hospitals such as Sparrow may have to cover the cost of those in need of care who seek treatment through emergency room visits instead of having the ability to seek care with a physician.
Cuts could force many health care facilities to cut services and/or reduce staff to help compensate for the loss in Medicaid coverage due to the AHCA. The writing is on the wall, as I am seeing Sparrow attempt to restructure staff and departments that are staffed with UAW members to operate more efficiently.
At this time, no jobs have been lost, but many of our UAW Caregivers are on edge with the uncertainty that lies ahead.
On to a brighter note, I recently asked the members of Local 4911 to take a stand in solidarity for our respected Patient Sitters, as they were facing some possible restructure. To have so many of our UAW Caregivers voice their concerns and give vows of support gave me everything I needed to go back to the company and report the dissatisfaction from our members about how this vital group of Caregivers were being treated. Solidarity prevailed.
The very next morning I joined a conference call with several of Sparrow’s VPs, who informed me that there would be no restructure of the Patient Sitters and that it was all just a misunderstanding. This shows that regardless of the odds that members face, solidarity can, and will, always affect change.

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