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Michigan Medicine

Nurses at the University of Michigan say they’ve reached a tentative three-year agreement with Michigan Medicine, ending their threat of a strike.

Just last week U of M nurses voted to authorize their union to call a three-day work stoppage, citing unfair labor practices. Ninety-four percent of the votes were in favor of the authorization.

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Michigan Medicine

Nurses at the University of Michigan hospital have voted to authorize their union to call a three-day work stoppage if the university does not respond to claims of unfair labor practices. Ninety-four percent of the votes were in favor of the authorization.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Nearly six thousand nurses at the University of Michigan are voting on a possible work stoppage.

The nurses’ union contract with the university health system expired over the summer.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of Michigan Medicine nurses rallied outside the Ann Arbor hospital complex today.

Wearing red shirts, waving signs and chanting “Union busting, that’s disgusting,” the nurses called on hospital administrators to agree to a new contract.  

The old contract for the 6,000 nurses expired June 30.  

Emergency room hospital
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After 15 months of bargaining, nurses at McLaren Lapeer Region hospital voted yesterday to give their leaders the ability to authorize a strike.

Hospital administrators had previously given the McLaren Lapeer RN Staff Council bargaining team their “last, best, and final offer.” According to union president Tom Hall, this meant the group had to bring the offer back to their members for a vote, regardless of whether the bargaining team agreed with it.

Union members voted the contract proposal down.

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The University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council's contract with Michigan Medicine is expected to expire Saturday night without a new one in place.

In the absence of a new contract, the nurses will continue to operate under the general terms of the expired one until an agreement is reached. 

The University of Michigan's Comprehensive Cancer Center
Michigan Medicine

The University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council, currently engaged in contract negotiation with Michigan Medicine, announced Monday morning that it will hold an informational picket on July 14 if they haven't yet reached an agreement at that point.

The announcement of the picket comes less than a week after the union filed an unfair labor practice charge against the health system for prohibiting the nurses from wearing certain shirts advocacting for the union while on their shift.

Tenet-DMC Charity Care Report / Michigan Nurses Association

A new report says the Detroit Medical System’s for-profit owner has broken its promise to care for the city’s poorest residents.

The DMC is owned by Dallas-based Tenet Health Care. Tenet pledged to continue the DMC’s historic commitment to “charity care” when it bought the hospital system in 2013.

But the Michigan Nurses Association report says federal government data show DMC charity care spending plunged 98% in three years, from nearly $23 million in 2013 to around $470,000 in 2016.

Doctor's stethoscope
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A group of nurses at an Oakland County hospital filed a lawsuit today against their employer.

Nurses at the Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital claim a shortage of nurses and support staff is creating dangerous situations for patients.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Hundreds of nurses are walking a picket line outside the largest hospital in the Upper Peninsula.

Members of the Michigan Nurses Association launched a 48-hour strike against U.P. Health System Marquette on Thursday. The nurses have been working without a contract since May.

Scott Balko is the president of the local nurses’ union. He says staffing issues have become an increasing problem since an out-of-state hospital company acquired three local hospitals in the U.P. in past few years.

Sparrow Hospital entrance in Lansing
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The Michigan Nurses Association has filed an unfair labor complaint against Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.

It stems from the hospital's recent decision to close its substance abuse intake unit and move services to the hospital's main campus.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report finds patient safety varies widely across Michigan.

A Washington D.C.-based group looked at how hospitals across the U.S. handled problems like mistakes in the operating room, drug mix-ups and bed sores.

23 of 79 Michigan hospitals surveyed in the report earned an “A” grade in patient safety.  A half-dozen Michigan hospitals received D’s.  No Michigan hospital received an “F” for patient safety.

CDC

Michigan nurses say state hospitals are not ready to handle a case of Ebola.

Despite recent assurances by Michigan hospital administrators and Gov. Rick Snyder that the state is prepared for a case of Ebola, the state’s largest nurses union disagrees.

Two Texas nurses have tested positive for Ebola, after treating a patient from West Africa, who recently died from the disease.

Kenny Karpov

Hundreds of protesters gathered near city hall in downtown Detroit Friday, to demand the city stop ongoing water shutoffs.

More than 17,000 Detroit households have had their water shut off for non-payment since March, though many have since had service restored.

City officials say the shutoffs are a necessary measure, because too many people simply don’t pay their bills--starving the water system of up to $100 million in revenues.

Dan Bobkoff / Michigan Radio

Democrats in the Michigan Legislature and a nurses’ union are calling for a state law that would require hospitals to maintain staff levels without resorting to mandatory overtime.

Sixteen states currently have rules regarding staff-to-patient ratios.

Right now, California is the only state with a law that sets minimum staffing levels in hospitals.

State Representative Jon Switalski (D-Warren) is about to introduce legislation to set staffing requirements in emergency rooms and other hospital wards.

“Nurse staffing can literally be a life-or-death issue and affects families from Detroit to the Upper Peninsula,” said Switalski.

Scott Nesbit is a registered nurse from Muskegon. He says he and other nurses have experienced mistakes or a “very near miss” caused by short-staffing.

“I don’t think people realize that when your nurse is handling far too many patients, or working a double-shift or been mandated to stay over, it’s probably because the hospital wants it that way,” said Nesbit.

Similar legislation has failed in previous sessions of the Legislature.

The Michigan Health & Hospitals Association opposes the idea.

The group says a law that sets staffing requirements would rob administrators of the flexibility they need to meet different situations. The association says the bigger problem is a shortage of trained nurses.

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Nurses at the University of Michigan Health System have been working without a contract since July 1.

Officials at the University of Michigan Health System and the 4,000 registered nurses who work there have been unable to reach an agreement on issues such as pay, health insurance, and benefits.

The nurses marched to a University of Michigan Board of Regents on September 15 with their demands.

Now, the nurses say they will voice their concerns at tonight's "State of the Health System" address.

From a Michigan Nurses Association press release:

Nurses will attend the annual University of Michigan Health System “State of the Health System” address on Tuesday, September 27 at 5:15 pm in the Ford Auditorium in University Hospital.

The nurses will be representing the University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council (UMPNC) in a visible show of solidarity for safe patient care at UMHS. Approximately 4,000 nurses are currently working without a contract rather than settle for an agreement that will diminish benefits and increase costs, leading to substantial nurse to patient staffing issues.

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Registered nurses who work at the University of Michigan Health System and their supports say they will march to the University of Michigan Board of Regents meeting today at 2:30 p.m. They will start at the Michigan Union and "proceed to the Fleming Adminisration Building" (distance - about a block).

The Michigan Nurses Association (MNA) says the University of Michigan nurses have been working without a contract since July 1.

From an MNA press release:

Despite another profitable year and an increase in patients, UMHS have thwarted reasonable contract negotiations with the system’s 4,000 registered nurses by proposing cuts that would make it even more difficult for them to maintain patient care and safety.

The University has issued a statement in the past saying they "prefer not bargain in the media" and  "respectfully disagree" that proposed labor changes would have a negative effect on patient care.

Issues being debated include pay increases, health insurance, and benefits.

Sparrow Hospital nurses are supposed to start voting today on a new contract.

Last minute negotiations headed off a threatened lockout at Lansing’s Sparrow Hospital ten days ago.

Hospital administrators threatened to lockout Sparrow’s 21 hundred nurses and support staff if they didn’t agree to the hospital’s final offer. 

Earlier, the nurses union authorized a strike and walked away from contract talks.

In the end, the two sides hammered out a tentative deal that included a modest wage hike and increase nurse staffing levels.