Press Release

UMH RNs Gain Significant Increases in New Contract


Ann Arbor, Michigan - The 4,000 registered nurses at the University of Michigan Hospital, represented by the Michigan Nurses Association (MNA),  have cast a resounding vote to ratify a new three year contract.  The contract offers nurses wages and benefits that are among the best in the marketplace, as well as a continued commitment to support the delivery of the highest quality care.
“We felt the University was trying to take advantage of the economic times and attempting to roll back improvements we have won over many years through our MNA contract,” said Katie Oppenhiem, RN, President of the local bargaining unit.  “The credit goes to our members.  Our nurses came together to stand up for what they believed.  It was the strength and unity of our union that has allowed us to push forward to such a successful settlement.  This is a win for all parties, and the biggest winners will be our patients.”
The nurses had been working without a contract since July 1, 2011.  The contract provides for new provisions that will give nurses a significant voice in areas such as staffing, nursing practice, and the use of technology. An example - under the terms of the new agreement, charge nurses will have a say in determining whether more staffing is needed to meet the specific needs of the patients.

The contract also provides for step increases and across the board wage increases, which will result in many nurses seeing increases of $5 to $10 an hour by the last year of the contract. The agreement also made some improvements to the health insurance package negotiated throughout the University for all other employee groups while preserving important rights and benefits the hospital wanted to take away from the nurses.

"We owe a great deal of thanks to the Ann Arbor community members that rallied with us during the long negotiations. Their support was key to a fair settlement.  When we started this process we knew the community appreciated the care nurses provide, but as time went on, it was very heartening to have the level of support that we did.  The work of our members and community clearly made a difference at the bargaining table," said John Karebian, MNA Executive Director.  
The Michigan Nurses Association is the largest, most effective union for RNs in Michigan. As the voice of all registered nurses in Michigan, MNA advocates for nurses and their patients at the State Capitol, in the community, and at the bargaining table. MNA is a constituent member of National Nurses United and an affiliate of the AFL-CIO.