Huron Val­ley-Si­nai nurses OK deal

Vote to rat­ify union con­tract wraps up 2-year bat­tle

The Detroit News - - Business - BY KAREN BOUF­FARD The Detroit News

Nurses at the Detroit Med­i­cal Cen­ter’s Huron Val­ley-Si­nai Hos­pi­tal voted to rat­ify a con­tract, be­com­ing the first nurses at the eight-hos­pi­tal health sys­tem to union­ize.

The con­tract was won af­ter a bit­ter two-year bat­tle that be­gan when the 350 Huron Val­ley-Si­nai nurses voted to or­ga­nize un­der the Michi­gan Nurses As­so­ci­a­tion in March 2016. They ar­gued that in­suf­fi­cient staffing and other is­sues threat­ened qual­ity of care at the 158-bed fa­cil­ity in Com­merce Town­ship.

The con­tract

in­cludes

safe staffing lan­guage to pro­tect pa­tients, wage in­creases to re­tain nurses and job pro­tec­tions, the union said Fri­day. The three-year agree­ment takes ef­fect im­me­di­ately and is retroac­tive to Sept. 1.

“I am so proud of what nurses achieved by form­ing a union and stick­ing to­gether. For the first time, we have a griev­ance pro­ce­dure with en­force­able con­tract lan­guage on pro­fes­sional devel­op­ment, health and safety,” Judy Moore, a nurse and bar­gain­ing team mem­ber, said in a press re­lease.

“Th­ese tools will help us pro­tect pa­tients and will serve as a model for other DMC (Detroit Med­i­cal Cen­ter) hos­pi­tals.”

It’s the sec­ond Michi­gan Nurses As­so­ci­a­tion af­fil­i­ate to rat­ify in less than a month. The Univer­sity of Michi­gan Pro­fes­sional Nurses Coun­cil, which rep­re­sents more than 5,700 nurses, ap­proved a new three-year con­tract on Oct. 11 with Michi­gan Medicine, the Univer­sity of Michi­gan health sys­tem.

In a state­ment Thurs­day, the DMC said, “Our pa­tients’ safety and the qual­ity of our care has re­mained our top pri­or­ity and will con­tinue to be our fo­cus.”

“We be­lieve the agree­ment is fair, com­pet­i­tive and ac­knowl­edges the value of our nurses’ con­tri­bu­tions,” the state­ment con­tin­ued. “We are com­mit­ted to mov­ing for­ward to­gether with all our nurses, both union and nonunion, con­tin­u­ing our ded­i­ca­tion to pa­tient safety and qual­ity.

The Michi­gan Nurses As­so­ci­a­tion filed a law­suit against Huron Val­ley-Si­nai Hos­pi­tal in Oak­land County Cir­cuit Court on Nov. 2, 2017, say­ing a staff short­age was plac­ing nurses and pa­tients at risk. A judge granted the health sys­tem’s mo­tion to dis­miss the law­suit in March, a de­ci­sion the union is ap­peal­ing.

“This is a huge leap for­ward, not just for Huron

Val­ley nurses, but for our pa­tients and for the en­tire DMC sys­tem,” said Kathy Lehman, a nurse and pres­i­dent of the Pro­fes­sional Nurses As­so­ci­a­tion of Huron Val­ley-Si­nai Hos­pi­tal.

“We deeply ap­pre­ci­ate the sup­port our fel­low hos­pi­tal em­ploy­ees and the com­mu­nity at-large pro­vided through­out this process,” Lehman said in a state­ment. “With a strong con­tract in place, nurses will be able to ad­vo­cate more ef­fec­tively for qual­ity care.”

The Detroit News

The Huron Val­ley-Si­nai nurses con­tract takes ef­fect im­me­di­ately.

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