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Members of the University of Michigan Professional Nurse Council (MNA-UMPNC) have voted “overwhelmingly” to approve a tentative agreement with Michigan Medicine, according to a press release Saturday night. The new four-year contract comes after six months of negotiations. Over 6,000 union members had worked without a contract since the previous agreement expired on June 30.

Effective immediately, the new contract includes an end to mandatory overtime, a 22.5% wage increase over four years and expanded guidelines for safe staffing ratios. The agreement also provides a $273 million compensation package that covers a new salary step model and a $5,000 bonus for each nurse. 

According to a UMPNC tweet, 95% of voting members approved the agreement. The contract will run through March 31, 2026.

Negotiations between the union and the University stalled over the union’s demands for safe workload ratios as the administration maintained that employee staffing levels were not mandatory subjects of bargaining. In August, the union filed a lawsuit with the Michigan Court of Claims, alleging that the hospital’s administration was violating state law by refusing to bargain over staffing ratios. According to an MNA spokesperson, both the Court of Claims suit and ULP charge regarding workload ratios will be withdrawn.

In the press release, Renee Curtis, MNA-UMPNC president and registered nurse, said she was happy with the protections the contract provided for its nurses and patients.

“We’re excited about being able to hold the employer accountable for safe nurse-to-patient ratios and end dangerous mandatory overtime,” Curtis wrote. “Strong wage increases and bonuses will help attract and retain the nurses we need to take care of our patients.”

Anne Jackson, MNA-UMPNC member and registered nurse, expressed her gratitude for the union’s bargaining unit in the same press release.

“​I’m grateful to our bargaining team for fighting so hard for what nurses and patients need, and I was proud to join my colleagues in voting ‘yes’ on this contract,” Jackson wrote. “This makes the University of Michigan an even better place to work and provide the best patient care possible for all our patients.”

Marschall S. Runge, Michigan Medicine CEO and U-M Medical School dean, said he was satisfied with the contract in a press release from U-M Health, the clinical division of Michigan Medicine.

“We are grateful that our nurses choose to work and build their careers at University of Michigan Health,” Runge wrote. “We are pleased to offer a very competitive package that recognizes the value our nurses bring to our patients and our organization.”

According to the U-M Health release, Michigan Medicine also launched an “aggressive” nurse recruitment program that is expected to hire a record-setting number of nurses this year, with 1,058 nurses hired from July 2021 to May 2022. 

Daily Staff Reporter Irena Li can be reached at irenayli@umich.edu.