ANN ARBOR – About 6,200 registered nurses at the University of Michigan will vote later this month on whether to authorize a work stoppage in protest of the university’s unfair labor practices.
Members of the Michigan Nurses Association-University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council (MNA-UMPNC) will vote from Aug. 27 through Sept. 2.
“We take any potential work stoppage very seriously and it’s unfortunate that we’ve been pushed to this point,” said Renee Curtis, RN, MNA-UMPNC president. “We cannot stand by, though, while the university continues to violate our rights and break the law. We owe it to our patients and communities to stand up for ourselves and that’s why we’re holding this work stoppage vote.”
The nurses are in negotiations for a new contract, having worked without one since July 1.
The work stoppage vote comes amid what the nurses say is a pattern of unfair labor practices by the university, with the latest being the refusal to bargain over safe workloads. MNA filed a lawsuit and unfair labor practice charge over that issue on Monday. Other still pending charges include:
- In July of 2022, MNA filed an unfair labor practice charge alleging the university engaged in bad faith bargaining by unilaterally terminating an incentive payment for nurses in University of Michigan Medical Group-run areas.
- In February of 2022, MNA filed an unfair labor practice charge alleging the university retaliated against multiple nurses for engaging in protected union activity on their unit.
- In 2019, the university made unilateral changes to employee parking at the main hospital campus in Ann Arbor without bargaining. That bad-faith bargaining case is still pending before the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, as are the others.
The union is aware of other potential violations and is currently investigating them.
If a majority of MNA-UMPNC members vote yes on the work stoppage question, that means they are authorizing their elected bargaining team of fellow nurses to call a work stoppage. In that event, MNA-UMPNC would give 10 days’ notice to the university so it can prepare.
Negotiations are scheduled to resume Tuesday.
The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest union and professional association for registered nurses and healthcare professionals in Michigan. MNA is an affiliate of National Nurses United and AFL-CIO.
Contact: Dawn Kettinger, 517-721-9688