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Michigan Medicine nurses overwhelmingly ratify new pact

Nurses picket outside of University of Michigan Hospital.
Michigan Nurses Association
Nurses picket outside of University of Michigan Hospital.

Nurses at the University of Michigan overwhelmingly voted to ratify a new, four-year contract agreement over the weekend. The $273 million, four-year pact ratified over the weekend will run through March 2026.

University of Michigan’s Professional Nurses Councilpresident, Renee Curtis, says it covered many key provisions. From her perspective, the most important were guarantees for enforceable nurse-to-patient ratios that will carry fines should the university fail to comply.

“It guarantees a nurse at every patient’s bedside. And there will be workload numbers where the number of patients will be the amount that nurses can safely take care of.”

The pact also includes an end to mandatory overtime, except in emergencies. It also contains more than 22% wage increases over the life of the contract. The University of Michigan Board of Regents must still approve the contract.

Both the union and Michigan Medicine officials say the contract will help retain and recruit more nurses as they are badly needed.

Nearly three-quarters of David Fair’s 20+ years in radio has been at WEMU. Since 1994, he has been on the air at 5am each weekday on 89.1 FM as the local host of NPR’s Morning Edition. Over the years, Fair has had the opportunity to interview nationally and internationally known politicians, activists and celebrities. But he feels the most important features and interviews have been with those who live and work here at home. He believes his professional passions and desires fit perfectly into WEMU’s commitment to serving a local audience.