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University of Michigan nurses union ratifies 4-year contract agreement

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) - The University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council voted to ratify a contract after months of negotiations.

According to the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA), the union voted last week on the new contract that will run through March 31, 2026, and includes a $273 million package.

The contract includes:

  • Enforceable nurse-to-patient ratios that vary by unit to ensure safe patient care, with fines possible if the university does not comply;
  • An end to mandatory overtime except in select emergency situations;
  • Wage increases of 7.5 percent in 2022, 6 percent in 2023, 5% in 2024 and 4% in 2025 (total of 22.5 percent over the life of the contract), with a separate new wage scale for nurse practitioners; and
  • A $5,000 ratification bonus and a $2,000 retention bonus.

"This contract provides important investments in nurses and protections for patients that MNA-UMPNC nurses and our community fought hard for over the past six months," Renee Curtis, RN, president of MNA-UMPNC, said in a statement. "We're excited about being able to hold the employer accountable for safe nurse-to-patient ratios and end dangerous mandatory overtime. Strong wage increases and bonuses will help attract and retain the nurses we need to take care of our patients."

University of Michigan Health says it will continue working with the union to implement the new contract.

"We thank all the teams who worked tirelessly over the last few months to bargain for a fair agreement that reflects the expertise and commitment of our nurses, and our shared interest in moving University of Michigan Health forward together," said U-M Health President David Miller, M.D.

MNA filed a lawsuit in August, alleging the university refused to bargain in contract negotiations over the workloads of nurses and discuss the number of patients assigned per nurse, which they say presents safety concerns. 

In early September, U of M nurses authorized their bargaining team to call a strike over alleged unfair labor practices.

The union, which represents 6,500 nurses, reached a tentative agreement last month after working without a contract since July 1.

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