142 Genesys Convalescent Center Workers Join Local 332 in Michigan
When it comes to patient care, Tonya Chin-Kee-Fatt wants the very best for her residents at Genesys Convalescent Center, where she works as a certified nursing assistant. That’s why she and her fellow health care professionals at Genesys recently voted overwhelmingly to join Local 332 in Flint, Mich.
“We want to truly be able to take care of our residents and be able to spend quality time with them,” Chin-Kee-Fatt said. “We all stood together so we can have a voice.”
The 142 new Teamster members work as registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, certified nursing assistants, and in the dietary, housekeeping and maintenance departments.
In two votes held the same day, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses voted 22-3 in favor of representation by Local 332, while certified nursing assistants, dietary, housekeeping and maintenance workers voted 87-18 in favor of joining Local 332.
“Many of us have been talking about needed changes for a long time. We decided it was time for us to take the ball and run with it,” said Annette Burman, a 10-year registered nurse. “The level of care which all nursing home residents need has skyrocketed. We need to address our working conditions in order to protect our patients and community residents.”
The workers at Genesys Convalescent center join the 1,400 Teamsters who already work in the Genesys Health System at the Medical Center and Hospice. The Genesys Health System is owned by Ascension Health, the second largest not-for-profit health care system in the U.S.
“Ascension may be a massive force in the health care industry, but we fight for our members every day, and our members fight for their patients every day. Our union is a powerful voice for patient care, nursing standards and fair conditions for all workers in health care settings,” said Nina Bugbee, President of Local 332.
Chrissy Cates, business agent with Local 332 and a former registered nurse at Genesys Regional Medical Center, notes that half of Local 332’s membership is made up of health care workers, covering nearly every position in the industry. Often, the only person standing between a patient, their families and the health system is a Teamster. By fighting for their members’ rights, Local 332 fights for patient rights.
With the addition of the Genesys Convalescent Center workers, Cates said, “We feel like the family has grown.”
Chin-Kee-Fatt feels the same way.
“The same care I would give a family member of my own, I give to my patients, and as Teamsters we will be able to continue to do that,” she said.
“Many of us have been talking about needed changes for a long time. We decided it was time for us to take the ball and run with it.” –Annette Burman