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Published: Tuesday, 9/19/2006

Lenawee nurses reject ProMedica contract offer

ADRIAN - A union covering an estimated 200 nurses has rejected a contract offer from ProMedica Health System, but both sides yesterday expressed a willingness to reach an agreement.

The Lenawee Health Alliance Registered Nurses represents nurses at Bixby Medical Center in Adrian and Herrick Memorial Hospital in Tecumseh.

Shar Anderson, council president of the nurses association, said she was waiting to hear back from ProMedica on resuming the talks.

The nurses have been working without a contract since June 30.

She said the vote to reject the last offer "shows that the membership firmly supports the bargaining team."

Negotiations with state and federal mediators broke off last week when ProMedica issued a final offer to the nurses.

The union said the hospitals want nurses to work more hours, while weakening their health-care coverage.

Nurses at both hospitals voted in July to authorize a strike but have not issued a 10-day "intent to strike" notice.

Jenny Goldberg, spokesman for ProMedica, said the hospitals have "worked diligently" with the nurses association "to offer an agreement that was equitable."

"We're disappointed that the nurses voted against the last offer," Ms. Goldberg said.

She said ProMedica plans to meet with a federal mediator to help reach an agreement.

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