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Nurses' union at UM remain at odds with university as negotiating continues

Nurses picket outside of University of Michigan Hospital.
Michigan Nurses Association
Nurses picket outside of University of Michigan Hospital.

The nurses at the University of Michigan continue to negotiate with university leadership with a strike possibility remaining on the table.

The nurses have been working without a contract since July 1st. The union has accused the university of breaking labor laws and has filed a lawsuit over the university’s refusal to discuss workload ratios.

Michigan Medicine says they are planning to ensure safe staffing levels if a work stoppage occurs.

Joey Andrews from the AFL-CIO says this case could be a bellwether for future labor disputes involving hospital workers when it comes to nurse-to-patient ratios.

“It’s an unsustainable point right now. And a lot of hospitals don’t want to talk about it because it’s a complicated issue, and it costs a lot of money to fix. But I think they’re going to be forced to reckon with it.”

Just before Labor Day, the nurses voted to authorize the union to call for a strike. The two sides held negotiating sessions all last week and over the weekend without a resolution.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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