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Michigan Medicine nurses to picket as contract talks stall

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Nurses at Michigan Medicine are preparing for an informational picket on the hospital grounds Saturday, saying patient care is being jeopardized while contract negotiations are stalled.

At issue, say the nurses, are dangerously low staffing levels, exhausted nurses being forced into overtime, and compensation offers, they say, that are lower than the rate of inflation.

The nurses' union president, Renee Curtis, says that understaffing is so acute, nurses have begun documenting moments of concern.

"Since January, we have over 800 plus what we call Edo forms that nurses have filled out regarding specific instances where they felt unsafe."

In a written statement, Michigan Medicine said it was also disappointed they were unable to come to an agreement before the contract expired June 30. They believe they have made a competitive offer and maintain they are on track for a record-setting year for nurse recruitment despite the nationwide staffing shortage.

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Cathy Shafran is WEMU's afternoon news anchor and local host during WEMU's broadcast of NPR's All Things Considered.
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