UM nurses ratify labor contract
Agreement gives 3-4% raises and keeps health benefits
The union representing more than 4,000 nurses at the University of Michigan has ratified a new labor contract, officials said Thursday.
The news comes about 12 days after the University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council and the university said they had reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract. It also comes after months of negotiations.
“This ratification is good news for the entire Michigan Medicine community: our nurses, our patients and all of our staff.,” David Spahlinger, president of the UM Health System and executive vice dean for clinical affairs of the UM Medical School, said in a statement. “Our top priority is to ensure our patients receive the highest quality of care. Our nurses are critical to that goal, and this contract reflects our interest in moving forward together. We believe this agreement will help us retain and recruit excellent nurses.”
Union officials said they are proud of the contract, which they reached with the university on Sept. 28.
“Because we stuck together, we won staffing language with enforceable commitments and procedures,” Katie Oppenheim, a nurse and UMPNC chairwoman, said in a statement. “Nurses will have an effective means of ensuring that staffing decisions are always based on patient care.”
The nurses overwhelmingly voted to ratify the tentative contract Oct. 7-10, according to the union. It went into effect immediately.
University officials said the new contract has salary raises of 3 to 4 percent. In the past four years, raises were about 1 percent.
It also includes:
Increased funding for tuition reimbursement and professional development that will ensure maintenance of nursing Magnet status, the highest honor in nursing granted to just 6 percent of U.S. hospitals.
Maintenance of current health insurance and retirement benefits
Changes to eliminate payroll system inaccuracies
Reductions in mandatory overtime
Paid maternal/parental leave program that includes six weeks of paid leave for physiological recovery from birth of a child and six weeks of paid parental leave to employees after a birth, adoption or foster care and guardianship, which matches benefits recently granted to non-union University employees.
“This is a significant milestone, and we look forward to working with our nurses as we continue our efforts to bring the best healthcare possible to our patients and communities across the state,” Spahlinger said.