Nurses must muster their strength to win contract battle at Michigan Medicine

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With less than two days to go until their contracts expire, 6,200 nurses at Michigan Medicine, the University of Michigan’s health care system, face a fight against hospital management’s plan to impose a four-year concession agreement, including wage increases that do not keep pace with inflation and the maintenance of compulsory overtime and an oppressive on-call system.

At the same time, the nurses are facing opposition from the union – the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) and the University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council (UMPNC) – to mobilize members with the rest of the hospital staff to win a contract c is in their interest. Throughout the contract fight, the union has isolated Michigan Medicine nurses and refused to unite them with other Michigan healthcare workers facing the same fight.

The only way for nurses at Michigan Medicine to stop the imposition of a new sellout deal is to demand an immediate strike vote and adoption of a list of contract demands based on what nurses and their patients need, not what management says is or isn’t affordable. . The contract fight must be taken out of the hands of the pro-corporate union and a rank-and-file committee must be established to lead the fight as part of the growing movement of workers in all industries against concessions and attacks on fundamental rights.

According to a report released by the MNA on June 16, management is refusing to address the nursing staffing crisis that has made working conditions intolerable at Michigan Medicine. In place, the hospital administration is proposing a contract that “will make it easier to force nurses to work overtime, and they won’t even talk about safe RN-to-patient workload ratios to ensure that every patient can get quality care”.

In a June 23 negotiations update, the UMPNC writes that management “insists on maintaining mandatory overtime while proposing a less fair on-duty system for members than that proposed by MNA-UMPNC.” Nevertheless, the UMPNC has made it clear that it will accept the maintenance of forced overtime and oppressive on-call hours in exchange for “enhanced incentives”.

The union admits that dozens of bargaining sessions since March and a march and protest at the University of Michigan board meeting on June 17 have produced no progress on key issues facing workers. Michigan Medicine nurses.

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