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Nurses union file lawsuit against University of Michigan alleging refusal to bargain

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - A lawsuit has been filed by the Michigan Nurses Association against the University of Michigan alleging the university is refusing to bargain in contract negotiations over the workloads of nurses.

The lawsuit claims the university is refusing to discuss the number of patients assigned per nurse, which they say presents safety concerns. The 6,200 MNA-UMPNC nurses have been without a contract since July 1.

"When nurses are forced to take care of too many people at once, patient care gets compromised and nurses are put in danger of injury or burnout, and that's happening far too often at our hospital," said Renee Curtis, RN, president of MNA-UMPNC in a press release. "Our union is fighting for patient safety, first and foremost. It's absurd to think that conversations about how to keep patients safe can be effective without talking about our nurses' workloads."

The Michigan Nurses Association says nurses have voiced their opinions about possible unsafe situations, including filing 1,090 forms that documented concerns so far in 2022, compared to 1,000 for the entirety of 2021.

The MNA also filed an unfair labor practices charge with the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, asking for an injunction forcing the university to bargain over workload ratios immediately, pending MERC's ruling.

Nurses with the MNA-UMPNC will be holding at a town hall meeting on Thursday, August 18 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at IBEW Local 252, located at 7920 Jackson Road in Ann Arbor. You can RSVP by clicking here.

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