Nurses unions claim that more than 1,000 red-clad members picketed this weekend outside the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor.
U. Mich. nurses picket before Tuesday talks
While the size of the crowd that came together on Saturday may be disputed, the gathering was not a work stoppage. The approximately 4,000 nurses have worked without a contract since June 30. Hospital staff and the union are expected to meet with a state mediator Tuesday at the negotiating table.
The nurses—represented by the Michigan Nurses Association, National Nurses United and the University of Michigan Nurses Council—are rallying against proposed slashes to benefits and schedule changes. They say the proposed contract is not in line with what nurses receive from comparable university health systems: “Without comparable contracts, many RNs have indicated they will leave UMHS, which will have a negative impact on patient care,” a union statement read.
The union wants health insurance premiums and other benefits kept the same as the last contract. They say the health system is looking for increased employee contributions.
The health system issued a statement over the weekend saying it would not publically share information about negotiations, but read officials looked “forward to continued negotiations, with a goal of resolving these challenging issues as soon as possible.”
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