St. John Providence nurse anesthetists say no to outsourcing

A showdown is happening between two local hospitals and dozens of nurses reaching the point of no return.

New Year's Eve will be the final day on the job for the registered nurse anesthetists at Saint John Providence in Southfield and Novi.

The battle is over outsourcing the professionals you see before and after surgery at the two hospitals.

The end of the year is the end of the job for 68 of the registered nurse anesthetists who are resigning their jobs according to St John Providence Hospital. The group's attorney said if they did not agree to join the new company, they would be fired by the hospital.

The hospital is outsourcing the position and offered jobs to the current anesthetists, but 26-year veteran Greg Bozimowski explained his decision to leave.

"We have been asked to sign the contract and to work under policies and procedures under a manual that hasn't even been written yet," he said. "It hasn't been shown to us. So how can we agree to that."

St. John Providence with ERs and hospitals in Southfield and Providence Park Novi is bringing in the PSJ Anesthesia company.

Here's the hospital's statement:

Currently employed CRNAs are still being offered the opportunity to request transition of employment from St. John Providence to PSJ Anesthesia, a respected national anesthesia provider. It is a common practice for health systems to contract with business partners to provide certain services."

These previous and new positions are non-union and Bozimowski says pay is not an issue. The pay is comparable to what they were earning prior to the outsourcing.

"There are clauses in there that allows termination without cause," he said. "Then there is no appeals process that we are aware of. It does not feel like a fair environment."

Approximately 10 anesthetists have already agreed to join PSJ Anesthesia and continue working. But they are in the minority. The 68 who are leaving and looking for new jobs have hired an attorney but so far there has been no public discussion of possible legal action.

"We have some of that where they go from a situation where they have thousands of employees at Providence Hospital to being owned by a single person," said one of the group's attorneys David Shea. "So this company that had been just formed two weeks earlier, is now the company that Providence said that all these CRNA professionals would have to work for, or they would be fired by Dec. 31.

"As they looked into this particular employer, and decided that this was not someone for them, Providence said 'Too bad, you're fired.'"

But could something change in the 11th hour? Not likely say both sides which are standing firm. The final decision was made this week with the PSJ Anesthesia company.

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