Nurses, UM reach tentative contract agreement
Ann Arbor — Union nurses and the University of Michigan said Saturday they have reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract after months of bargaining.
Details of the agreement will be discussed to at upcoming membership meetings and nurses will have the final say through a ratification vote, said Katie Oppenheim, nurse and chairwoman of the Michigan Nurses Association.
“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," she said.
Nurses are expected to schedule a ratification vote in the coming weeks.
Last week, the union representing more than 4,000 nurses at UM authorized a work stoppage of up to three days while citing violations on their workplace rights. Ninety-four percent of the U-M nurses voted to authorize that work stoppage.
Oppenheim, at the time, said they hoped to reach 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."
The union has filed unfair labor practice charges with the state's Employment Relations Commission and alleges the university has failed to bargain terms and conditions of employment in good faith, has made changes in work shifts without negotiating with the union and discriminated against union members.
After the union contract expired on June 30, the university offered nurses a deal that included across-the-board raises of at least 3 percent and six weeks of paid leave for physiological recovery from childbirth and six weeks of paid leave after birth, adoption or foster care, but has demanded cutbacks in retirement compensation and other concessions from nurses during bargaining for a new contract, union officials said.
"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, president of the University of Michigan Health System and executive vice dean for clinical affairs of the U-M Medical School.
“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.”