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U of M nurses approve new four-year contract


U of M nurses approve new four-year contract

Oct 03, 2022 | 8:22 am ET
By Jon King
U of M nurses approve new four-year contract
University of Michigan Medical Center | Laina G. Stebbins

After working without a contract since July 1, approximately 6,200 University of Michigan nurses have voted to ratify a tentative agreement.

The Michigan Nurses Association-University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council (MNA-UMPNC) said its members had “overwhelmingly” approved the deal in voting that concluded Saturday. 

The new contract, which runs through March 31, 2026, is effective immediately.

“This contract provides important investments in nurses and protections for patients that MNA-UMPNC nurses and our community fought hard for over the past six months,” said Renee Curtis, R.N., president of MNA-UMPNC. “We’re excited about being able to hold the employer accountable for safe nurse-to-patient ratios and end dangerous mandatory overtime. Strong wage increases and bonuses will help attract and retain the nurses we need to take care of our patients.”

Among the terms of the $273 million contract:

  • Enforceable nurse-to-patient ratios that vary by unit to ensure safe patient care, with fines possible if the university does not comply
  • An end to mandatory overtime except in select emergency situations
  • Wage increases of 7.5% in 2022, 6 percent in 2023, 5% in 2024 and 4 percent in 2025 (total of 22.5 percent over the life of the contract), with a separate new wage scale for nurse practitioners
  • A $5,000 ratification bonus and a $2,000 retention bonus

“We thank all the teams who worked tirelessly over the last few months to bargain for a fair agreement that reflects the expertise and commitment of our nurses, and our shared interest in moving University of Michigan Health forward together,” said U of M Health President David Miller, M.D.

Union members authorized a strike last month over what members described as unfair labor practices that had left nurses exhausted, burnt out and departing their jobs altogether. A tentative agreement announced Sept. 22 averted a walkout.

“I’m grateful to our bargaining team for fighting so hard for what nurses and patients need, and I was proud to join my colleagues in voting yes on this contract,” said MNA-UMPNC member Anne Jackson, R.N. “This makes the University of Michigan an even better place to work and provide the best patient care possible for all our patients.”