ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Nurses represented by the University of Michigan Professional Nurses Council (UMPNC) and Michigan Medicine have officially reached an agreement on a three-year contract.
The details of the tentative agreement are set to be discussed at membership meetings. Nurses will have the final say through a ratification vote, according to Katie Oppenheim, a registered nurse and chair of the Michigan Nurses Association.
“We are pleased to have reached a tentative agreement with our nurses’ union. Reaching a resolution is the best possible outcome for our hospital employees, our patients and our community,” said David Spahlinger, M.D., president of the University of Michigan Health System and executive vice dean for clinical affairs of the U-M Medical School in a press release.
“We all care deeply about our patients and our top priority is to ensure our patients receive the highest quality of care. We know families and patients choose Michigan Medicine because of our devoted teams of faculty and staff, including our excellent nurses. We are eager to move forward together.”
Just last week, the nurses authorized a work stoppage while citing violations on their workplace rights. Ninety-four percent of the U-M nurses voted to authorize that work stoppage.
“Our goal is not a work stoppage,” Oppenheim said at the time. “Our goal is a fair agreement which respects nurses and guarantees safe staffing. The University can remedy this situation immediately, by stopping their unfair labor practices and bargaining in good faith.”
Michigan Medicine responded to the work stoppage, saying it was “disappointed” the nurses approved the strike.
“We have been bargaining in good faith since January and have offered a competitive package,” the statement said. “Nurses are critical to the delivery of safe patient care. The most critically ill patients in the state come to Michigan Medicine. A strike could put patient safety at serious risk.”
The nurses will now schedule a ratification vote in the coming weeks.
“Our bargaining team is recommending this agreement because it will allow nurses to continue to provide world-class care. We are proud of our nurses and their ongoing dedication to patients,” Oppenheim said.