October 11, 2018
Topic: Health & Medicine
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include a link to a press release by the nurses’ union.
Nurses represented by the University of Michigan Professional Nurses Council have ratified a three-year contact with Michigan Medicine, U-M’s academic medical center.
The competitive employment agreement provides a commitment to patient safety and high-quality care, according to leaders from Michigan Medicine and the UMPNC, which represents the 5,700 registered nurses at U-M hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities.
“This ratification is good news for the entire Michigan Medicine community: our nurses, our patients and all of our staff. We are grateful to all who worked tirelessly to bargain a fair agreement,” said David Spahlinger, president of the U-M Health System and executive vice dean for clinical affairs at the Medical School.
“Our top priority is to ensure our patients receive the highest quality of care. Our nurses are critical to that goal, and this contract reflects our interest in moving forward together. We believe this agreement will help us retain and recruit excellent nurses.”
The contract includes guidelines for staffing that continue Michigan Medicine’s commitment to excellent patient care, while allowing for flexibility to meet patient needs.
In August, Michigan Medicine was ranked No. 5 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. These Honor Roll rankings are achieved, in part, by excellent nurse to patient ratios. Michigan Medicine’s ratios are in the top 2 percent of all hospitals in the country.
The contract includes salary raises of 3 percent to 4 percent, representing an increase from the past four years when those increases were about 1 percent.
The contract also includes:
• Increased funding for tuition reimbursement and professional development that will ensure maintenance of nursing Magnet status, the highest honor in nursing granted to just 6 percent of U.S. hospitals.
• Maintenance of current health insurance and retirement benefits.
• Changes to eliminate payroll system inaccuracies.
• Reductions in mandatory overtime.
• Paid maternal or parental leave that includes six weeks of paid leave for physiological recovery from the birth of a child, and six weeks of paid parental leave to employees after a birth, adoption or foster care and guardianship, which matches benefits recently granted to non-union university employees.
Michigan Medicine will continue to work with the UMPNC in implementing the new contract.
“Over the months of bargaining, we stressed our support and respect for nurses and worked to resolve workplace issues that needed improvement,” Spahlinger said.
“This is a significant milestone, and we look forward to working with our nurses as we continue our efforts to bring the best healthcare possible to our patients and communities across the state.”