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UM nurses' union files lawsuit to force workload talks at the bargaining table

Nurses gathered at U-M Hospital.
Michigan Radio
Nurses gathered at U-M Hospital.

In an unusual bargaining move, the union representing some 6,200 nurses at Michigan Medicine are taking U-M to court, trying to force them to bargain on a particular issue in contract talks.

The Michigan Nurses Association has filed a request for an injunction that would force the university bargainers to immediately take up the issue of nurse/patient ratios in contract talks.

Renee Curtis is head of the University of Michigan Professional Nurses Council.

"It’s a large, large issue to nurses, especially when the hospitals are short-staffing the nurses. We really need to have a voice in our workplace regarding how many patients we can take care of."

Officials at University of Michigan Health say they have patient safety at the forefront of their decisions. And they point to proposed wage increases and eliminating mandatory overtime as indications they are bargaining in good faith.

The nurses have been working without a contract since July 1st.

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