MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Michigan Nurse’s union stated that U.P. Health System-Marquette is “failing to work with its nurses on preparing for the COVID-19 crisis”, according to a press release sent out Sunday afternoon.
According to the release, UPHS-Marquette has laid off up to 100 workers, without pay.
“We know the COVID-19 crisis is just around the corner for us here in Marquette and it’s urgent that our hospital is getting ready for it instead of abandoning our nurses,” said Stephanie DePetro, an OR nurse and president of the MGH RN Staff Council, an affiliate of the Michigan Nurses Association. “Instead of having trained RNs screening people who come into the hospital for signs of COVID-19, the hospital is having others perform this vital task – when they even bother to perform it at all. Lack of proper screening at entrances is putting our nurses, patients and community at risk. Now is not the time for UPHS to try to increase its profits. UPHS needs to step up and do the right thing for our nurses so we can keep our community safe now and as the COVID-19 crisis worsens in the U.P.”
Improper PPE was also a concern, specifically that only some nurses are being issued an N95 mask, and nurses that receive them are expected to use them repeatedly. These masks are only supposed to be used one time.
The protections that the Nurse’s union is asking for include:
• paid time off for nurses who contract COVID-19 or have to self-quarantine
• exempting nurses who are immuno-compromised or pregnant
• clear and consistent screening protocols that adhere to best practices.
TV6 & FoxUP reached out to UPHS-Marquette for a statement, but have not yet received any comment.