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Grand Haven Trinity Workers go on planned strike over stalled contract negotiations during Coast Guard Festival

SEIU Union healthcare workers strike in Grand Haven during annual Coast Guard Festival
Daniel Boothe
SEIU Union healthcare workers strike in Grand Haven during annual Coast Guard Festival

Members of the SEIU Healthcare Michigan Union say they are overstaffed and underpaid.

Cars honked, workers cheered, and held up signs that read phrases like “underpaid and undervalued,” another read “essential not expendable;” as some Grand Haven Trinity Hospital workers who belong to the SEIU Healthcare Michigan Union went on strike Friday morning after a seven-months-long negotiation for a new contract hit a stand-still.

Workers say they are overworked, and severely undercompensated, while the offer that the hospital made was less than what fellow Trinity Health workers make a few miles north at Trinity Health Muskegon.

Ricky Kauffman is the lead radiographer for the medical imaging department.

“It’s an insult,” Kauffman said. “You know we went from being health care heroes and essentials, working together to get through the pandemic, and (now) they don’t care about us, they don't care about the community and they don’t care about the quality of care.”

In a statement, Trinity Health said,

“Completing these contracts and taking care of our colleagues and our community are top priorities and essential to our mission.”

The Union says, however, that Trinity negotiated in bad faith and offered extremely low wages that were unacceptable.

Meanwhile, Kauffman says, they chose to strike during the Grand Haven Coast Guard Festival on purpose.

“We want the public to know, that it’s not us at the hospital, it’s the administration. It’s Corporate Trinity.”

Meanwhile Trinity says, that despite the strike, the hospital is “prepared to provide fully staffed EMS services and have arranged for assistance from Trinity Health Muskegon.”