For Immediate Release
Contact: Dawn Kettinger firstname.lastname@example.org; (517) 721-9688
ANN ARBOR (MI) – The contract covering 6,000 registered nurses at the University of Michigan Health System (Michigan Medicine) is set to expire Saturday as managers remain unwilling to move on patient care issues and plan to take next week off instead of staying at the table with the nurses to reach a new collective bargaining agreement.
“In my decades working at the university, I have never seen an administration disrespect nurses’ concerns like this and bully us at the bargaining table,” said Katie Oppenheim, RN, chair of UMPNC/MNA. “Clearly, their focus is on nothing but financial gain for the university. Nurses are prepared to continue negotiations, and it’s so offensive that administration will walk away for the entire holiday week. Nurses certainly aren’t walking away from our patients next week – thousands of nurses will keep working around the clock to provide excellent care as always.”
The University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council (UMPNC)/Michigan Nurses Association represents the registered nurses throughout the hospitals, clinics and specialty centers of the university health system. The nurses have been in contract negotiations since Jan. 20. The current contract expires at midnight Saturday. While nurses are prepared to continue bargaining through tomorrow night, they say they won’t be rushed to agree to a weak contract.
The University of Michigan Health System, also known as Michigan Medicine, has reported it is sitting on a $103 million surplus for fiscal year 2018, from nearly $4.3 billion in revenue.
“It’s time for the University of Michigan to show whether it will remain a respected institution dedicated to the common good or become nothing more than a corporate money-maker,” said John Karebian, executive director of the Michigan Nurses Association. “The nurses play a huge role in driving the health system’s success; U of M is happy to reap all that money but unwilling to take nurses seriously or invest in patient care. Our nurses and our organization are prepared to do whatever it takes to get a strong contract that includes guaranteeing nurses a voice in the care they provide and the power to advocate effectively for patients.”
Nurses will hold an informational picket/community rally on Saturday, July 14; it is not a strike or a work stoppage. Hundreds of nurses and community members have already RSVP’d; sign-up is available at bit.ly/UMpicket.
The Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) is the largest, most effective union for registered nurses in Michigan, advocating for nurses and their patients at the state Capitol, in the community, and at the bargaining table.